BST: Meeting with EFL is for all football fans

Blackpool supporters protested outside the EFL's headquarters earlier this month
Blackpool supporters protested outside the EFL's headquarters earlier this month

“This meeting isn’t just for Blackpool fans – it’s for the whole of football.”

READ MORE: EFL release more details ahead of meeting with Blackpool supporters

That’s the message from Christine Seddon, chair of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, ahead of tonight’s meeting with the EFL.

Christine Seddon, chair of Blackpool Supporters' Trust

Christine Seddon, chair of Blackpool Supporters' Trust

The 7pm meeting has been called to enable Blackpool supporters’ groups to discuss their concerns with the game’s governing body and question how the situation at their club has been allowed to unfold.

While no agenda has been published, it is understood the three main items will be: Owen Oyston’s fitness to be a football owner; the EFL’s disqualification of Valeri Belokon; and wider issues of football governance.

Seddon said: “The very fact a meeting is taking place is the EFL admitting publicly they need to be engaging with the supporters.

“Whether it’s just a tick-box exercise to say, ‘We’ve done it’ remains to be seen but at least it’s happening.

“It’s up to us to be as forceful as we can with our questions.

“There’s no point in having a meeting if they are not prepared to acknowledge they have issues.

“We want to have dialogue to try to work out how we can change things.

“As it stands, we’re pretty powerless. We have no input and pretty much nobody takes any notice of us.

“So if we can come out of this meeting with the acknowledgement that things need to change, then that will be a really big step forward.

“This meeting isn’t just for Blackpool fans – it’s for the whole of football.

“I’m acutely aware of that and that’s why we need to make the most of it.

“As we’ve seen, there are lots of other clubs who are having issues. Only this weekend we saw fans of Charlton Athletic following in our footsteps and boycotting.

“It’s dreadful that it’s come to this, so something has got to happen.”

The meeting will start with a presentation delivered by EFL representatives, followed by a Q&A session.

The EFL confirmed that The Gazette will be the only media in attendance and will report on the outcome of the meeting upon its conclusion.

Groups initially invited to send representatives were: Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, Tangerine Knights, A View From The Tower message board and Back Henry Street message board as well as local MPs.

However, it is understood MPs Gordon Marsden and Paul Maynard will be unable to attend as they have prior commitments in Westminster.

Blackpool Supporters’ Association and the Muckers Supporters’ Group have since received invitations.