Blackpool supporters are having their opinions heard and acted upon

Blackpool FC's supporters have had their opinions heard
Blackpool FC's supporters have had their opinions heard
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Blackpool supporters have long become accustomed to having their views ignored but that’s no longer the case according to board member Tim Fielding.

Fielding has been the fans’ representative on the interim board since February, when receiver Paul Cooper was first appointed.

His arrival was the end of Owen Oyston’s 30-year tenure, ending the boycott for thousands of fans.

The new board has since overseen a positive transformation of the club behind the scenes, showing a willingness to communicate while being more transparent with the fanbase.

They have also moved quickly to address concerns raised by the club’s fans, such as unhappiness with the price of children’s season tickets as well as the finance options available.

“It’s been a very illuminating experience and a very rewarding one from the point of view of actually having people listen to what is going on,” Fielding told BBC Radio Lancashire.

“That is one of the biggest changes at the football club, people feel as though they’re actually being listened to.

“Paul Cooper came to meet me and Christine Seddon from Blackpool Supporters’ Trust and he said that he had identified he wanted one of us to take up the position on the board.

“Between me and Christine, although it was her who said it, we decided it was better that I did it because it avoided the potential conflict with her chairing the Trust, but we said we’d prefer it to be a non-voting role.

“We preferred to be there advising and giving them our input while letting them vote on things. We felt that was the better course of action to take.

“But the input we are giving in the boardroom is being listened to and acted upon, so the question whether I need a vote or not has never come up so far.”

With new owners on the horizon, that raises the question of whether or not supporters should have a say in their club in the long term.

“Personally I’d like to see it,” Fielding added.

“I’d like to think that I’ve had a positive influence over the course of the last three or four months.

“We came into a difficult situation and for Ben (Hatton) and Michael (Bolingbroke), I think it was useful to listen to someone who has been in and around the club for 40-odd years.

“It’s up to the new owner to decide what extent they want fan engagement.

“From BST’s perspective, they’ve always been very keen that this happens but we’ll have to see.

“There will be fan engagement through the new supporter liaison officer, whatever happens with the new owner.

“It might well be the new owner might want to elect a representative.

“We just don’t know, but I hope they do as I can see huge benefits.”