New Blackpool chief executive Ben Mansford dares to dream of the big-time

Blackpool’s new chief executive Ben Mansford has called on the club’s fanbase to dream big once again.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 6:00 am
Blackpool FC owner Simon Sadler (right) welcomes new chief executive Ben Mansford to Bloomfield Road  Picture: BLACKPOOL FC
Blackpool FC owner Simon Sadler (right) welcomes new chief executive Ben Mansford to Bloomfield Road Picture: BLACKPOOL FC

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He is one of several recent appointments, brought in by owner Simon Sadler to work alongside head of recruitment Tommy Johnson and head of technical scouting Jonathan Gibson.

As a team they will work closely with manager Simon Grayson to identify the best talent to help with Blackpool’s push for promotion.

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Mansford will also be heavily involved with plans for a new training ground, improvements to the East Stand, contract negotiations and much more.

Having previously worked as a CEO at Barnsley and Leeds United, Mansford says his first priority is to make sure supporters feel engaged.

But beyond that, both he and Sadler have lofty ambitions for the long-term.

“I think the first aim is to make this a club that everyone can feel proud of again,” he told The Gazette. “I want to put it back on the map.

“People know there’s a chance Blackpool are back. Now we have to deliver that. I think that’s Championship football but we also have a very ambitious owner.

“I’d actually like to meet Ian Holloway at some point to understand what that promotion season was about and how everyone came together to achieve that success.

“I think if we did it less than 10 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.

“I think in football you need a bit of luck but if we get a real togetherness and some momentum....

“Just have a look at Sheffield United and how they went ‘bang, bang’ with two quick promotions.

“Winning becomes a habit, just as losing can become a habit.

“If we start to build that momentum and get everyone pulling together in one place, then we all dare to dream, don’t we?

“I think the dream is to be back in the big-time. If we don’t wake up with that enthusiasm, that desire and that hunger to punch above our weight, then we shouldn’t be here.

“If it comes down to the level of commitment and energy from the owner and from the supporters, then we’ve got a chance.”

Mansford has certainly had plenty to enjoy on the pitch since assuming his role, with three straight wins.

“There’s been plenty of noise, plenty of goals and it’s all very positive. I hope that continues,” he added.

“What appealed to me most about this challenge is that this is a journey Simon is embarking on. He’s a local owner who is immensely committed and passionate about his football team.

“There’s so much we want to achieve, so we’ve got to have short, medium and long-term goals.

“I think in the short-term, we want to engage with supporters again and give this local community a club to be proud of again.

“If we do that and we set the right standards on and off the field, we have a number of things that we want to achieve.

“If we conduct ourselves properly and do the right things, then I’m sure results will come.”