Blackpool SLO column: Pleasing response to European Super League and working back at Bloomfield Road
It has been truly heartening over the last few days to see the almost universal condemnation of the plan by a handful of elite European clubs to form a breakaway Super League franchise.
The proposed ESL would have been anti-competitive, undemocratic and completely at odds with what football clubs are all about.
Supporters’ groups opposed it, players and pundits spoke out against it and the vast majority of clubs were horrified at the prospect.
Let’s hope such greedy notions have been shown up for what they are and have been truly hoofed into touch.
Let’s hope, furthermore, that the spirited backlash from fans across the land has been noted by the football authorities and the government as former sports minister – and Tottenham fan – Tracey Crouch MP prepares to initiate the long-promised ‘fan-led’ review into the future direction and governance of our game.
At Blackpool FC, we are now extremely fortunate in our owner and his stated views on the importance of the club in the community.
Other fans are in a similar position to the one we were in until recently.
Everyone will be watching with interest how the review progresses.
A few of us were inside Bloomfield Road this week with a couple of objectives.
The first was to give the three big flags an airing, laying them out on the pitch as part of a video that has been made to celebrate and publicise the new, fan-funded, ‘We are The Seasiders’ banner that has gone up at the top of the Armfield Stand.
It looks fantastic and, as with the fans’ flags in the Kop, it’s just a pity the fixed arc of the iFollow camera doesn’t pick them out.
Still, you can see the video ‘BFC Flying Flags With Its Fans’ on social media now.
The second was to check on the state of the seats, as the stands have been largely unused since September.
If we qualify for the play-offs, there is a good chance we will be allowed a quota of supporters into Bloomfield Road for the semi-final home leg.
There is a lot of cleansing and maintenance to be done if we are to be ready.
Plans are underway, now that lockdown restrictions are easing, to re-engage the volunteers to start on this work as early as next week.
The club is eager to welcome them back. Of course, Covid precautions will be in place.
Volunteers will need to complete a short questionnaire and take a temperature check on arrival.
If you are an existing volunteer, you will be contacted shortly. New volunteers are also welcome.
If you live locally and are happy to give up a few hours of your time to help keep the ground in good shape, come and join the supporters’ volunteer group. Email [email protected] to find out more.
It is very frustrating for fans to have missed live games for so long.
It is particularly so in these final few weeks of the campaign, when a bouncing Bloomfield Road would do so much to help the team get over the line.
It is the same for all clubs and so please go on connecting with – and supporting – Neil Critchley and the team in every way that you can, via the club’s own live previews, podcasts, website and increased digital presence, via iFollow, and the various fan podcasts, blogs and social media platforms that are doing their best to keep us all informed and involved. Come on you Pool!
As Covid restrictions continue to ease, please keep being sensible and respect the social distancing measures and protocols that will remain in place – and do this for all our sakes.
We want the chance to have as many fans as possible back inside Bloomfield Road next season.
Stay positive, stay safe. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you need it.
Additionally, if you wish to contact me for any reason to do with supporter issues or have queries or suggestions, feel free to do so by emailing [email protected] or messaging me @BFCSLO on Facebook or Twitter: it’s what I’m here for. UTMP!
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