MP highlights Blackpool FC plight in Commons debate

The Blackpool South MP backed calls for more supporter representation
The Blackpool South MP backed calls for more supporter representation

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden highlighted the current plight of Blackpool FC during a debate in the House of Commons about the governance of the Football Association (FA).

He spoke in support of a motion of no confidence in the FA as part of a debate carried out in Commons this afternoon, which was set up following concerns over how the national game is being run.

Mr Marsden argued that Blackpool supporters had been failed by the FA following its recent turmoil off the field and was in dire need of reform.

He said: “This is clearly an issue my constituents feel very strongly about and a lot of people have written to me.

“Blackpool has always had a proud history, from the 1953 FA Cup Final to Jimmy Armfield who is recognised internationally, and all the way through to Cinderella story in 2010 and it was a very proud moment to join tens of thousands on the prom.

“But sadly over the last few years the situation at Blackpool has led to thousands boycotting, which is now common knowledge.

“Football clubs are more than just private assets and they should be run in the best interests of the community.”

During his brief speech, Mr Marsden referenced the legal action the Oyston family have taken against the club’s own fans, which the MP says has made the situation “far, far more difficult.”

He went on to argue that supporters deserve greater power and influence to decide how clubs are run, while there also ought to be supporter representation on the FA council.

A letter from Steve Rowland, chairman of the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, was also read out in the Commons which said the FA had too often become a “money-spinning business venture" and argued a more stringent set of rules and more supporter involvement was required.

Taking to Twitter after speaking in the Commons, the Labour MP said: “Glad to highlight need for FA to do more to address issues at Blackpool and concerns of fans on its governance in Commons debate.

“Just emphasised concerns of Blackpool Supporters' Trust on FA failure to get involved in Bloomfield Road situation in Commons. Need reform and fan representation on FA board.

"Privilege to pay tribute toJimmy Armfield and his career as an iconic figure for Blackpool and the town in my speech."

The debate, which was only attended by about 17 MPs, ended by the Commons passing a vote of no confidence in the FA.