BST column: Blackpool fans can gear up for a new era under Simon Sadler
A recent nationwide survey concluded what we all secretly knew; that football, followed by travel and music, is the most popular pastime – obsession even – of the British people.
Therefore, as we look forward to the start of a new season, football fans up and down the land will be feeling that heady mix of excitement, anticipation and nerves that are all a part of supporting your team.
For Blackpool fans however, this new season is exciting like no other.
Just six months ago, the vast majority of us were exiled from our club, war-weary and unsure of when or even if we would ever get to watch our beloved Seasiders again.
Fast forward a few months and here we are, ready to return in our thousands, with a new owner at the helm and a board which ranks among the most open and consultative in football.
Is it any wonder that Blackpool fans are still in a bit of a daze?
The closed season has been a time of intense activity at Blackpool FC.
It has been widely reported that the football club had been left in a state of turmoil and near collapse, and the task facing the board and the owner is immense.
Our club infrastructure needs rebuilding from the foundations upward and this will be no quick fix.
Since Simon Sadler took over, the amount of work done to prepare the club for the new season has been incredible and already we have been shown images of the improvements being made.
The upgraded changing room facilities for the players, the installation of a proper laundry and kitman so that professional footballers don’t have to wash their own kit any more, contractor vans parked nose to tail all round the ground on a daily basis as plumbers, joiners, electricians, structural engineers, painters and decorators get to work on the stadium, the announcement of local sponsors and the inclusion of fans at every opportunity – all these things are a statement of intent from Sadler and the board.
They are already showing us that they understand that Blackpool FC is a community asset, that every one of us is important to its future and we all have a role to play.
We have campaigned for years to save our football club, hoped and prayed for an owner who would understand just what the club means to its supporters and community and now we have exactly that.
As supporters, we have already proved how important and effective we can be – it is now time for us to put that collective effort into action once again, this time to give all our support to our new owner and our revitalised club.
These are exciting times indeed as we face the start of a wonderful new era.
Blackpool Supporters’ Trust is looking forward to working closely with the club on behalf of all Blackpool fans and will continue to be a democratic and inclusive organisation.
Having spent the last four years at our ‘outdoor office’, come rain or shine on every match day, we are delighted to be able to announce that we will now have a presence inside at the ticket office before and after every home game.
Members and non-members alike are welcome to come and meet with us, join or renew memberships, ask for advice or come in to chat.
This Saturday, we will be there from 1pm and will be giving away free ‘Blackpool Are Back’ T-shirts to everyone who comes in to see us.
We look forward to seeing you there. Come on the Pool!