Simon Sadler was this morning unveiled as the new owner of Blackpool Football Club.
The 49-year-old, a lifelong Blackpool fan, was confirmed as the new chief last month when he purchased 96.2 per cent of shares in the club.
Earlier today he posed for photographs on the Bloomfield Road pitch before meeting with selected members of the media.
He will now take part in a fans’ forum this evening, where supporters will get their first chance to quiz the club’s new custodian.
Sadler said: “I had said for years, ‘one day I will own it’, and then things clearly moved quickly and there was some momentum behind it as things unfolded.
“(Friend and new board member) Brett Gerrity was sending me lots of WhatsApp messages keeping me in touch with what was going on and we’d have the odd conversation, where he’d ask me ‘are you going to do it?’
“I replied saying ‘I’m not sure’ and ‘the timing’s not quite right’, and then there was the homecoming game against Southend and it really came home to me just how important the club is to the town.
“I had already known, of course, but with so many people turning up and being so vocal and so happy, I just thought it was my civic duty to step up.
“I wanted to make sure the next owner of the club was the right owner of the club for the next 20 or 30 years and would look after it the way it deserves to be looked after, develop it and be its custodian. That’s why I stepped up.”
Sadler also outlined his vision for the club, which he suggests should be established in the Championship.
To realise that aim, the new owner believes the club needs to improve its infrastructure, including a new and improved training ground while also developing the academy.
Sadler also indicated that he will increase the playing budget, commenting on how the Seasiders may make some new signings that wouldn't have been possible before his takeover.
He also confirmed conversations have taken place with manager Terry McPhillips about a new and improved contract.
Eighty supporters will attend tonight’s fans’ forum, which is being held at Rowley’s bar and restaurant at Bloomfield Road, beginning at 7pm.
Sadler has indicated he would like to meet with a broad cross-section of the fanbase in order to start building a relationship with supporters.
The event, which is by invitation only, is intended to allow for an exchange of information and aspirations between Sadler and fans as the club enters into this new phase.
A quarter of the places will be offered equally to committee members of the main fans’ organisations BSA, BST, MSG, TKs, BASIL, Yorkshire Seasiders and Leyland and Chorley Seasiders.
Sadler held senior roles in finance before setting up an asset management business, Segantii Capital Management, in Hong Kong in 2007, where he remains Chief Investment Officer.
Born and raised in Bispham, Sadler has been a lifelong fan of the club having watched his first game at Bloomfield Road in 1977 at the age of eight.
He was also present at Wembley on May 22, 2010 to witness the club gain promotion to the Premier League.
Since 2014, he has been the proud owner of Sir Stanley Matthews’ 1953 FA Cup winner’s medal, currently on loan to the National Football Museum in Manchester.
A former Warbreck High pupil, Sadler was a regular in the old West Paddock throughout the 1980s, watching the likes of Eamonn O’Keefe and Paul Stewart, as well as his all time favourite Andy Garner.