Blackpool FC face the prospect of being snubbed by nine out of 10 supporters next season.
This week’s online Gazette poll suggests as many as 90 per cent of fans won’t buy season tickets for 2016-17, regardless of whether Pool avoid a second successive relegation.
As many supporters continue their battle with chairman Karl Oyston over his running of the club, attendances have tumbled to a 10-year low as many turn their back on Bloomfield Road.
Athough official figures show this season’s average attendance to be 6,732, that figure includes around 4,000 fans who entered into a two-year season ticket deal in 2014 as well as supporters of visiting teams.
Around 3,000 Blackpool supporters have actually been attending home matches this season, which is 9,000 fewer than just two seasons ago.
And those 3,000 are expected to be matched by the number for Coventry supporters making the trip up the M6 for tomorrow’s game.
Christine Seddon, spokesperson for Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, says the results of our survey are no surprise. “The Gazette poll fits in with what we’ve been seeing this season – most people have simply had enough,” she said.
“Next season I think we’ll see Bloomfield Road almost empty some weeks. Many won’t go and give their money to the club.
“It’s incredibly sad to think fans are turning their back but it’s no surprise.
“Many who had already paid for this year’s season tickets aren’t bothering (to attend). It’s an indication of just how bad things have got.”
More than 2,000 responded to The Gazette poll, which asked fans if they would be buying a season ticket for 2016-17.
Ninety per cent insisted they wouldn’t, while only seven per cent said they would and the other three per cent were undecided.
The poll also got fans talking on social media, with hundreds having their say.
Sean McGinlay wrote: “The Oystons have no intention of investing at fair levels in football and are intent on burning every bridge with fans.”
Long-term fan Martyn Russel blamed a lack of ambition for his decision, saying: “As a supporter for 48 years, I won’t be taken for granted or laughed at by the arrogant Oystons any more.”
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Another supporter, Steve Melrose, added: “The Oystons’ ongoing disdain for supporters and disregard for their feelings, emotions and livelihoods is so far removed from what any decent society should expect, I find it disturbing that some people still hand over their money to them.”
For others it was simple down to football: “There’s no ambition in any footballing sense whatsoever from the owners. That is clear now,” said Jonathan Dunne.
It’s believed 800 new season tickets were solid at the start of the current season, and some of those say they intend to again.
Sarah Montgomery, who has supported the Seasiders for more than 30 years explained: “I have been watching BFC since I was five with my dad and I am now 41 and still go with my dad and my son! I go to support the team.”