Tesco denies Pool stadium store rumours

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Speculation it is set to open a store in Blackpool Football Club’s Bloomfield Road stadium has been refuted by Tesco.

Rumours emerged in the past week on fans’ websites that the grocery giant wanted to open a Tesco Express store in the unit currently occupied by the club’s merchandise shop.

It’s not about Tesco, it is just fans feel this would be another sign of the club’s demise and mismanagement

But a spokesman for Tesco Express said there were no plans to open a store in the stadium and described the suggestion as “rumour”.

Some fans had threatened to boycott Tesco if it opened a store in the stadium.

Christine Seddon, spokesman for the Blackpool Supporters Trust (BST), said fans would have been dismayed if the speculation had been proved to be true.

She said: “It’s not about Tesco, it is just fans feel this would be another sign of the club’s demise and mismanagement.

“It would suggest we are going backwards if we are having to close a club shop.

“It would show the sorry state we are in and a complete lack of investment etc.

“We should be looking at bringing fans in and selling lots and lots of merchandise in the club shop.”

Ms Seddon said in response to feelings there was a lack of investment in the club, fans were now buying an ‘alternative’ shirt designed by BST.

This meant they could still show their support for the team.

She added: “BST has endorsed an alternative shirt which is going very well.”

It had been suggested a convenience store could serve residents who are starting to move into the first of a total of 410 new homes which are being built on land near the stadium by Hollinwood Homes.

Two weeks ago BST made a £23m bid to buy Blackpool FC from the Oyston family.

Disgruntled fans have held a number of demonstrations in protest at the way the club, which in 2010 reached the Premier League, is being run including forcing the final game of the Championship season to be abandoned.

In October 2013, the club opened a merchandise and ticket shop in the Houndshill Centre to boost sales but it closed after about six months.