BST column: More concern than ever for Seasiders

Blackpool fans protest against the Oyston family
Blackpool fans protest against the Oyston family
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Blackpool Supporters’ Trust was formed just over a year ago and we are ready for our first Annual General Meeting. The situation that the club finds itself in right now is even more concerning for the fans than it was last summer.

The future of Blackpool FC as a source of pride and belonging for the local community, and supporters throughout the world, seems as uncertain as ever. The great history and tradition that epitomises Blackpool is being undermined and gradually eroded. Our club, famous for its attacking flair and commitment to the most attractive qualities of the beautiful game, has been subject to some of the most astonishingly counter-productive and self-destructive policies that perhaps any football club has ever experienced. Therefore, the need for a strong and determined Supporters’ Trust is greater now than it ever has been.

The membership of BST has just passed the 1700 mark. The number of members is hugely significant for three key reasons: it gives the Trust a real mandate to demand change at Blackpool FC; it enables us to more effectively lobby local and national politicians, bringing influence to bear on the game’s governing bodies; and perhaps most importantly, it establishes the Trust as a legitimate independent voice for Blackpool fans.

We are a truly democratic and transparent organisation. Our direction is driven by our membership, as the members make all the important decisions. We aim to represent and speak for all Blackpool fans, so the more people involved and active in the Trust, the more representative it will be.

The AGM will take place on Saturday August 29 at 1pm in the No 1 Club on Bloomfield Road. The results of the BST committee elections will be announced at the meeting and there will also be an election of a junior committee member by popular vote on the day. A brief financial report will be made for the year and there will also be a number of proposals and discussions pertaining to actions the members wish the Trust to take.

It has been a particular concern in recent weeks that fans have been turning on each other at matches and on social media platforms. Everyone’s frustration with the state of affairs at the club is understandable - but giving the team and/or fellow fans a hard time will surely be just as destructive for the club as anything the Oystons do. Fans abusing fans is really a scenario to be avoided. As long as we maintain our dignity, respect and principles our club can never be undone, only the business will be impacted and businesses come and go just as every tyrant must fall.

We can only lose this fight by our own hands and the Trust will do all it can to prevent that from happening. For the supporters to be successful in changing the direction and the fortunes of the club it will require every fan of good sense to unite, by whatever means they can, to work towards safeguarding the future of our club.