The Gazette has been given access to the sales memorandum that will be sent out to potential buyers of Blackpool Football Club in the coming days.
The Seasiders were officially placed on the market on March 29 when it was announced receiver Paul Cooper had instructed independent financial services company Hilco Global to market the club for sale.
It was recently revealed there had been as many as 59 expressions of interest, a figure that is expected to be whittled down in the coming weeks.
The Gazette understands the receiver is delighted with the quality of three or four parties, groups he is confident would move the club forward and would go down well with supporters were they to take over.
The memorandum states that offers for the club are due by 5pm on Wednesday, May 15, however no timeframe has been given for the completion of the whole process.
All interested parties should contact Nat Baldwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jack Gillespie (JGillespie@hilcoglobal.eu) to register their interest.
Below is the information sent out by Hilco Global to interested buyers:
Paul Cooper and David Rubin, the Joint Receivers of The Blackpool Football Club Limited (“Blackpool FC” or the “Club”) instructed Hilco Global to assist in the sale and marketing of the Club and related football assets. Blackpool FC is a professional association football club that currently plays in the EFL League One.
Blackpool FC was founded in 1887 in the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire, and is one of England’s longest-standing professional association football clubs. The Club currently plays in the EFL League One, having previously competed in the Premier League at the highest level of English football. The Club generates revenue from a number of channels, including sponsorship and commercial fees, gate receipts, tournament prize money and license income from televised games.
Blackpool FC’s home games are played at the Club’s Bloomfield Road Stadium, constructed in 1899 and extensively renovated since, which is located between Blackpool’s famous North and South piers, and is a five minute drive away from the City Centre. The Club’s home games have been historically well-attended by the Club’s loyal following, known as ‘The Seasiders’ and the ‘Tangerine Army’ within the English game. The fans’ passion and commitment makes the Club an attractive proposition for a buyer looking to enter the English football market.
The Club has gained admiration over the years due to its success throughout the four tiers of English football. Blackpool FC was famously the first club to win promotion to all four tiers of English football through the play-off system, sealing the record in the 2009/10 season when the Club secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time in Blackpool FC’s history.
Blackpool FC’s greatest period of success was in arguably in the 1950s when the Club famously won the 1953 FA Cup final, coming back from 3-1 down to beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3. The game has since come to be known as the ‘Matthews Final’, due to the lauded performance of Blackpool FC winger, Stanley Matthews, and his role in the comeback.
Blackpool FC made a total of three FA Cup final appearances between 1948 and 1953, and cemented the Club’s successful 1950s era with four top six finishes in the Football League First Division, finishing second behind Manchester United in the 1955/56 season.
Bloomfield Road Stadium
Blackpool FC’s home ground has a capacity of 17,388 and has been home to the Club since 1899. Bloomfield Road Stadium was subject to renovation work from 1999 to 2012, including the rebuild of certain stands to modernise the stadium’s structure. In addition to acting as the venue for the Club’s first team matches, the stadium has also hosted a number of concerts over the years, featuring artists and bands such as Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, and UB40.
First Team Squad
Blackpool FC maintains a 28-man first team squad, with certain players boasting Premier League and Champions League experience. The first team’s average age is under 24, highlighting the squad’s longevity and room for growth and development in the coming years.
The Club employs a number of coaching staff to oversee match preparation, team tactics and player development, detailed below:
Terry McPhillips (Manager) – Previously Assistant Academy Director at Crewe Alexandra for 14 years.
Tony Grant (Assistant Manager) – Previous coaching experience at Crewe Alexandra, Accrington Stanley and Chester City.
Ian Dawes (First-Team Coach) – Previously the Club’s Head of Academy.
Dave Timmins (Goalkeeper Coach) – Previously Goalkeeping Coach of Port Vale.
Phil Horner (Physiotherapist) – An experienced physiotherapist having been with the Club since November 2000.
Warren Green (Academy Manager) – Responsible for the Club’s academy players and their development.
Blackpool FC currently competes in the EFL League One in the third tier of English football. The EFL League One allows for promotion to the Championship and subsequently the Premier League, presenting a buyer with a pathway to the most lucrative domestic league in world football.
Blackpool FC recently hired a new board with considerable experience across major football leagues.
The Club’s board includes:
Michael Bolingbroke (Executive Chairman) – Previously Chief Executive of Inter Milan and the Chief Operating Officer at Manchester United for seven years from 2007.
Ben Hatton (Executive & Managing Director) – Previously Director of Commercial Enterprises at Manchester United for ten years.
Ian Currie (Non-Executive Director) – Previously Non-Executive Director at Bolton Wanderers FC for six years and lifelong Blackpool FC fan and season ticket holder.
Tim Fielding (Non-Executive Director carrying out an observational role) – Executive Director at BBE Law in Blackpool and lifelong fan of the Club having previously served as Chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Trust.
Blackpool FC relies on a number of key employees involved in the day-to-day operations of the Club outside of the football pitch.
Key positions currently filled at the Club include:
Ticket Office and Retail Manager
Hospitality & Events Manager
Stadium Operations Manager
Blackpool FC’s football kits are manufactured and designed by Italian sports company, Erreà, while the Club’s shirt sponsor is betting company, BetSid. The Club also has a sponsorship deal in place with ice cream parlour chain, Bonds Ice Cream.
The Club has registered four trade marks protecting the ‘Blackpool Football Club’ name, the ‘BFC’ acronym, as well as the ‘Tangerine Army’ and ‘The Seasiders’ monikers, providing protection should a buyer wish to expand the Club’s offering across a range of branded merchandise. A schedule of the Club’s trade marks is available on request.
The Club trains at Squires Gate Training Ground, which at present has basic functionality but could be expanded upon by a buyer to include modern facilities to assist with the growth of the Club.
Championship Play-off Winners: 2009-10
League One Play-off Winners: 2006-07
League Two Play-off Winners: 2016-17
Division One (old) Runners-up: 1955-56
Division Two (old) Runners-up: 1936-37, 1969-70
Division Three (old) Play-off Winners: 2000-01
Division Four (old) Runners-up: 1984-85
Division Four (old) Play-off Winners: 1991-92
Division Two (old) Winners: 1929-30
FA Cup Winners: 1953
FA Cup Runners-up: 1948, 1951
LDV Trophy Winners: 2002, 2004
Anglo-Italian Cup Winners: 1971
The EFL League One is the largest third-tier league in the world in terms of revenue according to Deloitte’s 2018 Annual Review of Football Finance, with clubs generating a total of £146m in the 2016/17 season, an increase of 7% on the previous year. The EFL League One also provides a direct pathway into the Championship and subsequently the Premier League, which offer clubs considerable increases in commercial and match day revenue. Clubs in the Championship generated a total of £720m in the 2016/17 season, representing close to a five-fold increase on revenue of third-tier clubs, while clubs in the Premier League generated a total of £4.5 billion.
Blackpool FC has the potential to grow into an international brand if complemented with domestic success. The Club’s famous tangerine crest and kit is favorable amongst the Asian market, with tangerine colours representing courage, happiness, love, and good health in many Eastern cultures. Factors such as this are increasingly becoming key to securing commercial deals in England now that many sponsors originate from Asia, such as Fly Emirates, King Power, Fun88, Etihad, and ManBetX. Blackpool FC’s bold identity, heritage, loyal following and global potential makes the Club an attractive proposition for a buyer looking to enter the European football market.
The Club’s location also makes it an attractive proposition for a buyer, with Bloomfield Road Stadium being situated within a 150 mile radius from major UK cities and football clubs, including Blackburn, Preston, Bolton, Wigan, Liverpool, Manchester, Burnley, Huddersfield, and Bradford. This makes Bloomfield Road Stadium a popular destination for away fans given the relatively short travel duration. As a result, Blackpool FC has historically experienced a high number of away fans attending games, thus bolstering match day revenue.
Bloomfield Road Stadium also incorporates the Blackpool FC Hotel, which offers stylish accommodation and bedrooms that directly overlook the Club’s pitch. Blackpool FC is well-positioned to offer travelling supporters premium corporate hospitality, including overnight stays, a first class match day experience, and the opportunity to extend the supporters’ stay in the city by enjoying Blackpool’s major attractions on the weekend of League games. The facilities and location of the Blackpool FC Hotel provide a buyer with the opportunity to capitalise on the Club’s potential as a conference and events business.