Trade slump shows why ‘truce’ needed

Sparse crowds during the recent Scunthorpe match
Sparse crowds during the recent Scunthorpe match
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A councillor who is calling for a truce between Blackpool Football Club and its fans today said he was not surprised by traders saying business has slumped.

As reported in yesterday’s Gazette, shop owners around Bloomfield Road say a drop in fans attending matches has hit their takings hard.

Coun Tony Williams

Coun Tony Williams

One trader estimated his income was down 50 per cent on what it used to be on match days.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, last week called for a truce between supporters and club chairman Karl Oyston and has written to the Football Association and Sports Minister Tracey Crouch appealing for them to intervene.

He is concerned about the impact the situation is having on the town as a whole.

He said: “I think it is quite clear this is affecting local traders and affecting the number of people going to games, and this could be a catastrophe for the club.

“The lack of trade does not surpise me because gate numbers are down.

“It is not about politics, it is about the future of our football club.”

But he admitted not all the supporters had agreed with his stance.

Coun Williams added: “Some of the responses to my calls for a truce have been extremely personally abusive but lots of people are in agreement with me.

“The more aggressive methods have not worked and are not likely to work and this cannot go on.”

Coun Williams says he has now written to Karl Oyston and to Blackpool Supporters Trust (BST) formally asking for a truce, including the suspension of fresh legal action against fans by Mr Oyston, and the suspension of protests by BST.