BST column: Join us and make a difference

Blackpool fans at the end of the game against Scunthorpe recently

Blackpool fans at the end of the game against Scunthorpe recently

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Have your say

As many Gazette readers will know, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust recently held elections to appoint the committee that will help take the Trust forward in these very challenging times for our football club. There is much work to do.

The majority of fans agree that the troubled situation at Blackpool FC is a result of mismanagement by the owners.

The fact that club president Valeri Belokon has this week resorted to taking out a High Court action against the Oystons demonstrates the true depth of the crisis.

There cannot be many people who do not feel that a change of ownership is long overdue. It is vital that we, the fans of this fine old community club and the guardians of its spirit, stand together to get the message across that we have had enough and demand change.

BST would like to ask every Blackpool fan to consider what part YOU can play in securing the future of our football club. It is easy to think that individuals can’t really make a difference in the overall scheme of things – but in reality, when people stand together wonderful things can happen. This is where every fan can play their part.

If you have not already done so, please consider joining Blackpool Supporters’ Trust. We are a legally constituted, non-profit-making, democratic organisation, acting on behalf of the membership and standing up for all fans of Blackpool FC.

Members vote on all major decisions and steer the direction of the Trust. The more members we have, the greater our mandate to act on behalf of all fans and the louder our voice.

The Trust currently has 1,750 members, making us proportionally one of the largest Supporters Trusts in the country – an amazing statistic given that we were only formed just over a year ago. In 14 months we have been extremely active:

- in registering Bloomfield Road stadium as an Asset of Community Value.

- in forming links with a number of local charities and businesses, including Variety Club, the Kensington Foundation and the Gary Parkinson Trust

- in arranging a charity gala dinner to celebrate five years since Blackpool were promoted to the Premier League (this was attended by almost the whole of the 2010 squad, 400 guests and raised £10,000 for the Gary Parkinson Trust)

- in organising a Justice4Fans fund in endorsing a BST candidate in the last General Election

- in holding discussions with local MPs regarding football governance and the plight of BFC

- in tabling a bid for Blackpool FC

- in endorsing an alternative Blackpool shirt and negotiating pay-on-the-gate provision at all away games as part of the ethical boycott/#NAPM campaigns

l- in helping to sponsor the vintage Blackpool FC tram that will be displayed on the Promenade from today for the season.

In addition, we are members of Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation. We continue to maintain a presence on all forms of social media and fans’ message boards. We respond to every significant development from Blackpool FC (on an almost daily basis) and are available to act on behalf of all Blackpool supporters, not just our members.

The committee of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust is dedicated to being a positive force for change in the way Blackpool FC is run and our ultimate aim is to see Blackpool FC run by the fans, for the fans.

YOU can help make this happen and every fan who takes the simple step of joining BST will help to make a difference.

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