BST column: Pool still in bleak mode

Fans ahead of last weekend's game against Fleetwood
Fans ahead of last weekend's game against Fleetwood
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By dint of an own goal we avoided equalling the worst ever run of consecutive defeats in our club’s proud history.

For those who attended the game, it was a wet, windy and uninspiring day – a pity, as it should have been an exciting local derby.

It was a valuable, albeit lucky, three points but despite the win, the outlook for Blackpool FC remains decidedly ‘bleak’.

Last week’s BST column drew some similar Dickensian analogies, highlighting the gulf which exists between how the chairmen of Fleetwood Town and Blackpool ‘manage’ their respective businesses.

Seasiders fans are becoming increasingly worried by continued under-performance on the field, but off-field activities are causing equal consternation.

A message from a local MP relayed how saddened he is by what he described as the ‘downwardly spiralling situation’ between the club and the fans.

Various covert attempts at mediation have failed. Increasing numbers of dedicated and lifelong supporters now refuse to enter the ground until the regime is changed. The situation is far from ideal and cannot fail to tug at the heartstrings of any football fan.

So please don’t think for a second that this is not a ‘political’ struggle.

It involves the richest and most influential family in the town, the police, the judiciary, all of our local MPs, the local council and many thousands of concerned townsfolk and exiles.

In addition to petitioning local MPs, BST members have been contacting their local councillors and we would urge more of you to do so.

Not all the e-mails, letters and telephone calls have as yet received replies. However, responses to date reveal a degree of sympathy.

Once BST gathers together all of these responses together we will be applying for an opportunity to address a council meeting in early 2016.

The thinking behind some responses we hear, such as “It’s a business” and “There is nothing we can do” needs to be challenged and dismantled.

How this sorry predicament will develop is uncertain. However, if a solution is not blindingly obvious it does not mean one doesn’t exist and it is not an excuse for inactivity.

A week in politics can be a long time and things often happen quite unexpectedly. Interestingly, the majority of political scholars failed to predict the end of the Cold War, 9/11 or the rise of ISIS.

The reactionary and uninspiring thinking that politics or the future of our club is really not our business needs to be re-engineered.

Progress does not just happen of its own accord. It is up to Blackpool fans to keep up the critique, keep the debate going and to try to make good things happen.

Who would have predicted five years ago, when we were approaching Christmas riding high in the Premier League, how quickly things would sour and those Blackpool fans then enjoying ‘their best trip’ would be engaged in the biggest local wrangle this town has ever witnessed?

In any struggle there will always be a variety of opinions. This is the very stuff of debate and should be embraced as the lifeblood of democracy and politics.

As Blackpool and football fans, we have a lot in common and a duty to try to stand together in the interests of our club.

The Premier League windfall could have been the means of fortifying the club and creating a legacy for the local community.

Instead of spreading the wealth, it has translated itself by sustaining a pampered elite with a stubborn air of self-importance. This is possibly the best instance of ‘corporate feudalism’ modern football has yet witnessed.