Simon Sadler stresses importance of unity at Blackpool FC after years of 'civil war'

Simon Sadler hopes to reclaim the 'lost generation' for Blackpool FC
Simon Sadler hopes to reclaim the 'lost generation' for Blackpool FC
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Simon Sadler admits he is the result and beneficiary of Blackpool fans’ hard-fought campaign to oust the hated Oystons.

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And the Seasiders supremo called on those supporters to unite to help him build for the future.`
The 49-year-old, a lifelong Blackpool fan, was confirmed as the club’s new owner last month, when he purchased 96.2 per cent of shares in the club.
He now takes on the responsibility of taking the club forward after fans waged a long, drawn-out war to force the Oystons out of the club.
If Blackpool are to enjoy a brighter future, Sadler says the supporters will need to come together to play their part.
He said: “The club and the town has effectively been through a civil war.
“But now there is a need for unity. The common enemy has gone. Let’s just focus on the football.
“But all credit to the fans – you got the change you wanted and, to be quite frank, I’m the result of it.
“I’m the beneficiary of it but I’ve also stepped up to be the custodian of this club going forward.
“I’ve stood up. I’ve bought the club but ultimately we’re all fans and we all need to contribute.
“The club is about its fans, but we need to provide a product and a matchday experience that gets people here and gets people through the turnstiles.
“This club will lose money in League One before we even invest, so it needs people to be onside.”
The Seasiders are still short of the board’s 6,000 season ticket target but Sadler remains pleased with the current sales total, which as of last week stood at 4,932.
“I want as many people to come to the matches as possible,” Sadler added.
“I think the current figure is a great number of season tickets to have sold. The more the merrier.
“I think the club has set a target of 6,000 and I think it would be great to get over that.
“If we can get an average over the course of the season close to 10,000 I think that would be an incredible achievement.”
If Blackpool are to attract supporters back for the long-term, the town’s youngsters are going to play a vital role.
It has often been said the club lost a generation of new fans during the four-year boycott and Sadler has stressed the importance of welcoming them into the club.
“That’s very important,” he said. “For four or five years kids haven’t experienced football matches like I did with my dad, who took me to my first game.
“There are various things that can be done to bring those youngsters back.
“There will be a new sponsor of the Family Stand and that’s just one small step in the right direction.
“It’s also important the players care about the community and behave responsibly.
“I believe that community engagement, going out to schools and things like that, should not only be a part of their job but also something they want to do.”