Blackpool fans’ views matter to executive chairman Michael Bolingbroke

Blackpool’s executive chairman Michael Bolingbroke says supporters voicing an opinion on the board – either good or bad – can only be a good thing.

Saturday, 4th May 2019, 9:30 am
Michael Bolingbroke Picture: Getty Images

It follows recent criticism of the interim board from a vocal minority of supporters, which stems from the U-turn on the price of children’s season tickets.

But when asked by The Gazette how he had reacted to those dissenting voices, Bolingbroke issued a philosophical response.

“I think it’s football and people are passionate within football,” he said.

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“There are positives and negatives all the time but the fact people have opinions is wonderful and that’s one of the best things about football – that everyone has an opinion.

“People are passionate about that opinion and that’s what drives clubs, that’s what underpins clubs.

“Ultimately, whatever it says on a balance sheet or a legal document, a club is owned by its fans and every fan has a right to voice an opinion. It’s their club.

“We’re custodians of a club, so I think that’s all part and parcel of football and that’s a good thing.”

Fans expressed concerns over the children’s season ticket price of £75 being restricted to the new Family Stand, with those youngsters who wished to be seated elsewhere being charged £149.

After listening to feedback from supporters, the board made it £75 for children across the board.

Addressing that change, Bolingbroke said: “It’s difficult, isn’t it?

“The first thing is that we have to balance the books. You can’t please everybody all the time and I understand that changes affect some people negatively and some people positively.

“But we consulted widely with the fans before we made any changes and there were certain areas that were underscored by the fan groups as being critical.

“We were told ‘please reduce the standard ticket price from £22 to £20’ which is a significant reduction – that’s a 10 per cent reduction in your base price, but we’ve done that.

“The fans felt it was very important we had a payment plan for season tickets and we’ve introduced that.

“We’ve introduced a new concession bracket for 17 to 21-year-olds as well, so there have been a series of initiatives to try and address concerns fans had.

“By trying to balance our books it’s give and take so there are some areas where we have increased prices as well, but I hope we’ve got the balance right.

“I apologise to fans who have been negatively affected by this but ultimately we want a stronger squad and we want to win games, and that requires numbers.”