BST column: Blackpool fans can play a key role in the Seasiders’ resurgence

Ben Hatton has left Blackpool after overseeing a huge turnaround at Bloomfield Road
Ben Hatton has left Blackpool after overseeing a huge turnaround at Bloomfield Road
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After so many years of conflict and campaigning, it is heartening to see the resurgence of Blackpool FC as a football club and as part of the community.

The buzz among supporters is only too evident as we all learn to cherish our relationship with our football club again and watch it becoming a vibrant and exciting part of our community.

Simon Sadler is clearly relishing the job he has taken on and has already started investing heavily, both on and off the pitch.

At a time when the club needed a saviour he stepped up, and there are plenty of reasons to believe that he will prove to be the owner we all hoped for. Owning a community club is a huge responsibility.

As fans of the club, we also have a hugely important role to play.

Making our own financial investments by purchasing tickets and merchandise, providing sponsorship and creating noise and atmosphere at every game are part of the deal that goes with being a fan and we all contribute to this in whatever way we can.

Just as important though is establishing a reputation for being the best fans we can be, ambassadors for our club who can be welcomed wherever we go and who set the very best example of loyalty, passion, commitment and good behaviour.

Blackpool fans have already gained immense respect from many quarters for the collective effort which saw us finally save our club from rogue owners.

Throughout those difficult years, fans came together from within our club as well as from elsewhere to work together to campaign and eventually succeed.

A perfect example of this was in March 2018, when the EFL offered a limited number of places to meet with Blackpool fans to discuss our situation and the failure of football governance.

Fans from various groups worked together to ensure that each group nominated someone who had the knowledge required to deal with this particular meeting, regardless of which fan group they belonged to.

It was recognised by all that we had to work together to make sure that every opportunity we were given was seized upon and dealt with by the right people for that particular situation.

In ‘peace time’, that sort of co-operation is just as important. Our football club now appears to be in very good hands and has the most wonderful opportunity to move forward and progress in a way that has never been possible before.

The supporters should now be recognised as a vital part of the football club, and as fans, we need to make sure that the ‘entente cordiale’ which was evident between so many fans prior to Sadler’s ownership, is maintained.

All clubs have fans from many different backgrounds, cultures and with vastly different characters and ways of supporting their club.

However, the tangerine that runs through all our veins is something that should unite us, and as long as every fan maintains respect for others and acts in the best interests of our club, that unity will prove to be a huge bonus for Blackpool FC.

The news that Ben Hatton is to step down at the end of September has come as a surprise to many but there is no doubt that, after months of incredible effort and hard work, a well earned rest must surely be on the cards.

It is almost impossible to imagine how difficult the task of putting BFC back on its feet must have been but he, along with Michael Bolingbroke and other key personnel, have managed to turn the club from a collapsing wreck into a professional, vibrant organisation.

There is still much to do and it is to be hoped that whoever takes over from Ben will continue with the incredible progress already made.

They will certainly have a robust framework within which to work and we all owe Hatton a huge debt of gratitude for the role he has played in the resurgence of Blackpool Football Club.

These are exciting times and the BST committee is about to see some new faces joining us as the committee election results are ratified at the next members’ AGM.

This meeting will be held on Saturday, October 12 from 1pm at the Bloomfield Club on Bloomfield Road.

This is an open meeting and all are welcome but we hope that members will make the effort to attend to enable the committee to be ratified by as many as possible.

We will announce the agenda over the coming weeks. UTMP!