Blackpool Supporters Association have demanded their players have ‘pride in their shirt’ in an a letter to the squad today.
The letter, which was read out before training this morning by skipper Gary MacKenzie, says..
To the players of Blackpool Football Club,
There is no doubt that this season has been challenging to say the least with upheaval both on and off the pitch. The last few months have seen a change of manager, a lack of consistency in results and a large amount of uncertainty around the club. We have gone from the best start to the season the club has ever had to a winless run of 18 games – and now, with just two victories in the past 25 matches, we find ourselves in a precarious position with just three points separating us from the relegation zone. For the fans, who are the longstanding lifeblood of this club, the past few seasons have been very difficult to stomach. From the ecstasy of reaching the Premier League just four years ago, it is hard to accept we now find ourselves facing a relegation to the third tier of English football within such a short time, unless results improve rapidly. Supporters have understandably voiced their anger at the clubs owners and a lack of investment in areas of the football club, which is something that as a supporters association we have addressed in a separate letter to the chairman. It is important to point out that the vast majority of the anger shown by some fans is at them and not you.
We appreciate that this season has not been easy for you as players, and that the changes on and off the field cannot have helped; however, at this point in the season the only people that can save us from relegation are you. The fans have believed in you and supported you, but it is time for that belief to be repaid.
Football fans can stand losing. It’s part and parcel of the game. What we can’t take, however, is losing with no pride and no response. Recent performances on the pitch have been unacceptable. We need to see that you care and that you are willing to fight to stay in the division. There is a feeling amongst the fan base that a significant number of those who are pulling on the famous tangerine shirt have no pride in it. Many fans now feel almost resigned to relegation and believe we are going down with a whimper. Other clubs in danger appear to be prepared to show some spirit and fight that seems to be desperately lacking at Bloomfield Road.
Fans are paying, and have paid, good hard earned money to watch these displays. In case you, the players, are not already aware it costs £34 for a ticket for Leeds on Saturday. What will the fans get for this £34? It has to be questioned whether you are worthy of the support and worthy of this money. Fans have to back the team, but there has to be something worth backing.
Some of you won’t be here after May. You may not even give us a second thought after that. However, for the next five games, you are contracted to play football for Blackpool Football Club, and whilst this is the case we would urge you to think about what that means.
If we do go down, then the majority of blame will be directed at other areas of the club. For now though, all we ask for, please, is some pride, spirit, commitment, passion and recognition of the responsibilities you have to the shirt and to the fans. The fans are fully behind you, feel that you are better players than the results show and wish only the best for you in your time at Blackpool and in your future careers. Now though, is the time to stand up and be counted and to show that our faith in your talents and commitment to this cause is not, and has not been, misplaced.
In return, we will do our best to support you and get you over the line. But make us proud of you. Make us believe that if we do go down you gave it your all.
The ball is at your feet and we will be behind you all the way till the final kick of the season. Do it for us, for yourselves and for this great football club – but do it now.
Blackpool Supporters Association