What is Blackpool's stance on the possibility of installing safe standing at Bloomfield Road?
Installing safe standing at Bloomfield Road is not a number one priority for Blackpool at this minute, but they’ll be keeping an eye on the upcoming trials.
Six Premier League clubs and a number of Championship sides have applied to take part in a pilot scheme, which is due to start on January 1.
The trial, organised by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), will run until the end of the season and will allow clubs whose application is successful to offer a licensed safe standing area.
Outlining Blackpool’s stance on the pilot, chief executive Ben Mansford says it is something the club will monitor from afar rather than participate in, for now at least.
“The owner and the club have invested hundreds of thousands to improve the infrastructure around Bloomfield Road during the last two years,” Mansford told The Gazette.
“We have a number of things that require more urgent investment than changing over seats that work to the rail seats.
“The rail seats can cost anything from £50 to £70 a seat, so it’s not an insignificant cost to change a seat that currently works to a seat that maybe works in a different way and incur that cost.
“But we understand. The Football Supporters’ Association has carried out a lot of work to ensure safe standing can come in and clearly trials are being run.
“We’re duty-bound to monitor those, but it’s very difficult for us to commit to where we get to on that journey any time soon, especially because there are probably more pressing areas that require investment.
“Everyone wants to talk about the training ground and the East Stand, but of course we’ll be monitoring it.
“But I think all of our fans would appreciate a huge amount of investment has already been made and there’s also some areas that require investment potentially before we get to safe standing.”
Regarding an announcement for the new training ground, Mansford said supporters can expect to hear news sooner rather than later.
“We’re working very hard with lawyers and the like and I’m really hopeful that we can make a definitive and positive statement in the next few weeks,” he added.
“As for the East Stand, that will be part of potentially a wider group of discussions about the surrounding area and I would hope that at some point next year we can give the fans a bit more information.”
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