BST Column: Our members make themselves known

Blackpool fans take part in a protest arranged by BST

Blackpool fans take part in a protest arranged by BST

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Have your say

Blackpool’s Supporters Trust give us an update in their weekly column.

Over the past few weeks, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust committee members have been a regular presence outside Bloomfield Road in our hi-viz vests, not only as part of the protests which are taking place before every game but also in an attempt to communicate with those Blackpool fans who are not aware of our existence or who are not sure exactly what a Supporters’ Trust is.

For the most part, we have met with appreciation, support and lots of humour - much needed during these difficult days for our club - but it has become apparent that there are people who regard us with suspicion or even a little hostility. It seems they either disapprove of what they believe the Trust is about or they are somewhat confused as to exactly who we are and what we stand for. In today’s column we will try and set the record straight.

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust has always sought to inform and act on behalf of our members but never tells them what to do. We believe that it is vital for all fans to respect each others’ opinions, even if we as individuals do not always agree. Although Trust members have voted to uphold an ethical boycott of Oyston-owned companies and products and fully endorse the Not A Penny More campaign (#NAPM), this does not mean that those who choose to continue to watch BFC, home or away, are not eligible to become members. You can join BST and still go in to watch your team.

BST is a broad church and welcomes all supporters who have the best interests of our club at heart. As a group, we are committed to holding the owners to account, whoever they may be, but there is much more to a Trust than simply protesting or boycotting . However, in the current circumstances, the removal of the Oystons as owners appears to be the only hope we have of saving the club from its rapid demise and ensuring its future in the long term.

Therefore this type of action is appropriate and does, we believe, reflect the opinions of the majority of Blackpool fans. We are actively seeking ways of putting the club back in the heart of the community it serves. Encouraging the current owners to accept the BST bid or to seek a suitable buyer is fundamental to this goal.

If the current Blackpool squad manages to avoid relegation this season, through its own effort and commitment, this is to be applauded; no Blackpool fan wants to see the team disappear even further down the leagues if this can possibly be avoided. However, back-to-back home wins cannot disguise the fact that the root cause of the issues at the club remains and that any success for the team will mainly benefit the owners, not the club and its supporters, just as it did when we reached the Premier League in 2010. Sadly, occasional successes on the pitch will not bring about a change in attitude and behaviour from the owners and so the campaign to save our club goes on. Join Blackpool Supporters’ Trust and help shape a positive future for Blackpool FC.