OPINION: Would Blackpool’s fans be able to power the club’s future?

Blackpool's fans have continually lobbied for change
Blackpool's fans have continually lobbied for change

Blackpool are extremely fortunate to have a supporters’ trust who represent the views of its members so passionately and so effectively.

Whether it’s lobbying the government for change, as they were at the Conservative party conference just last week, or putting pressure on the football authorities, BST are showing other clubs the way forward regarding the need for fan involvement.

If change were to happen, what role ought supporters have in shaping the future of the football club?

My club, Lincoln City, were one of the first clubs to bring in supporter involvement at board level after it survived the threat of administration following the collapse of ITV Digital in 2002.

It initially helped in stabilising the club but, as time wore on, it was clear external investment was required.

Many fans would like supporters to have more control, but the model of fan ownership in the UK isn’t a well established one.

Compare that to Germany, where the so-called “50+1” rule ensures Bundesliga clubs must hold a majority of its own voting rights, ensuring the club’s members retain overall control.

It’s telling that no Bundesliga club has experienced insolvency since it was established in 1962.

Personally, I’d have my doubts for a club such as Blackpool, who surely have aims of returning to the Championship, to be majority-owned by the fans.

The investment and funds required to sustain the club at that level are so great it is unlikely any supporters’ organisation could feasibly manage it.

But I am fully supportive of fans having a seat or two in the boardroom, although the risk with that is it could turn out to be a token gesture.

Either way, with the car crash that has been Blackpool Football Club in years gone by, whoever takes the mantle at Bloomfield Road must get the fans on side.