Seasiders fans planning ‘funeral’ march

Blackpool fans staged a protest in the 19th and 53rd minutes (In 1953 the club won the FA Cup) against the stewardship of the club
Blackpool fans staged a protest in the 19th and 53rd minutes (In 1953 the club won the FA Cup) against the stewardship of the club
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Frustrated Blackpool fans are set to hold a ‘funeral march’ demonstration as the football club’s results continue to plunge them into despair.

Association (SISA) are planning to stage their protest before the home match against Huddersfield Town this Saturday.

They said the action is aimed as a spectacle to get both fans and the media to sit up and take notice about what they claim is chronic under-investment at Blackpool FC and the impact the owners’ current policies have on the football team, which currently lies 18th in the Championship table.

The march will begin at 2.15pm from the Old Rigby Road coach park, opposite the club shop and ticket 

The protesting fans will walk south along Seasiders Way and then on to Bloomfield Road behind the South Stand and then down Back Henry Street, before dispersing in the Paris Casino car park.

There they say a death certificate for their “dear departed Premier League Legacy” will be presented.

Tim Fielding, chairman of SISA, said the demonstration, their second following one during the match against Birmingham in February, was aimed at encouraging the owners to invest more of the Premier League money received over recent years in the team.

He said: “The owners, Karl and Owen Oyston, are not putting football at the top of the agenda.

“When we got to the Premier League they said it would change the club forever, but they haven’t delivered on that promise.

“We don’t expect them to spend all the money on the team, we don’t mind them having a healthy profit, but there needs to be a balance.”

Stephen Smith, vice-chairman said: “There has been a lack of investment in recent years and a lack of progress.

“The transfer budget should not be dwarfed by the directors’ remuneration.”

He said the recent annual financial results showed that, in the 2012/13 season, more money was paid in directors salaries (£568,000) than on purchasing players (£485,000).

The Oyston-owned Segesta Ltd increased its borrowing from the football club by £8m and now owes BFC Ltd more than £25m.

Tim Fielding added: “Mr Oyston said that money will flow back to the club, but we need to see investment now.”

In the past, Karl Oyston has said throwing money at the team was no guarantee of success.

But Mr Fielding said transfer fees for Charlie 
Adam and Matt Philips brought profit for the club when it won promotion.

The club today declined the opportunity to comment on the demonstration.