The appointment of Simon Sadler as Blackpool Football Club’s new owner is the perfect way to conclude the supporters’ struggle.
That’s the view of Christine Seddon, chair of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, who has been at the forefront of the fans’ battle to force regime change at Bloomfield Road.
With Hong Kong-based Sadler acquiring 96.2 per cent of the shares in the football club, including Valeri Belokon’s 20 per cent, the prospect of Owen Oyston making an unlikely return has been wiped out for good.
That news, coupled with the arrival of a Bispham-born lifelong Blackpool fan as owner, makes for an exciting future, according to Seddon.
She told The Gazette: “We did fight this fight for many a year and we already had an outcome up to a point.
“But there was this uncertainty hanging over the club while we didn’t know who the new owner was going to be.
“And of course there was the potential issue of Valeri’s 20 per cent share reverting to Owen Oyston at some stage, which had caused so much uncertainty among fans who weren’t willing to buy season tickets until they knew for sure he wasn’t coming back.
“So to find out it’s Simon Sadler, who is genuinely a lifelong Blackpool fan, you feel he’s one of us.
“To know he’s acquired all of the club bar the small percentage of minority shareholders is just beyond our wildest dreams. It’s wonderful, wonderful news.
“I think it’s a fitting conclusion to a very principled stance taken by so many people.”
Interim board members Michael Bolingbroke, Ben Hatton and Ian Currie will continue in their roles for the next few months, while Sadler familiarises himself with operations at the club.
Tim Fielding will remain as an adviser and his close friend Brett Gerrity, a Poulton-based lawyer, will also join the board.
Seddon added: “It does look good for the future. How many football clubs end up being owned by one of their own fans?
It does happen but not that often. We’re in a very fortunate position now.
“It’s very ironic how we’ve gone from one extreme to the other but I’m pleased the board are being kept on, in the short term at least.
“I don’t think we should underestimate the size of the task they were given when they walked into the building. They probably weren’t prepared for it.
“But they’ve kept their heads and they’ve just got on with it, and they’ve already made so much progress and put so many things in place.
“We have to be very mindful of that and very grateful so we can now build on this.
“We’ll see what Simon Sadler wants to do but at least there’s going to be that consistency in the short term. Then we’ll see what happens further down the line.”