After most of 2020/21 was played behind closed doors and with crowds severely restricted at Blackpool games where supporters were allowed, the return of the fans to coincide with Blackpool’s promotion to the Championship has been a huge boost for Sadler and his club.
The unique Bloomfield Road atmosphere has thrilled the owner, who told The Gazette: “People I bring here are blown away.
“There are fans who come here, who haven’t been for many years, who tell me they’ve not known anything like it. It’s uplifting, it really is.
“I think what has happened (at the club) helped a lot of people to get through a very difficult year.
“2021 will go down as a very difficult year in lots of people’s lives but the football club has played a part in helping people through difficult times.
“It has done for me, it’s given me something to look forward to.
“Even during lockdown, when fans couldn’t be in, the flipside of that is that a lot of fans got to watch every league game (via streaming), so it added a different dimension.
“Even though you’re not physically spending time with the players, it was a different way to experience it.”
The return of fans in great numbers has not been without its problems and the club has had to address incidents of crowd disorder.
Sadler added: “I think everyone was a bit rusty.
“The stewards were rusty, I think the police were a little bit out of practice.
“When you look back a few years when the ground used to be filled, it was the South Stand that was like the North Stand, for instance.
“I just think things needed to settle down. We were a touch concerned for a while with some of the behaviour within the stadium and some of the problems exiting it, but things seem to have settled down now.
“I’m pleased with the way the club, the police and the fan groups came together to calmly work through the problem and, fingers crossed, we don’t have any more trouble.”
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