Will Watt: BST’s bid won’t be accepted, but it should be respected

Blackpool Supporters Trust announce a takeover bid for Blackpool FC
Blackpool Supporters Trust announce a takeover bid for Blackpool FC
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When it comes to football, few are wiser than our very own local hero Jimmy Armfield.

Recently he was asked about the Blackpool FC saga and action the Oyston family were taking to arrest it, with his opinion being ‘if you do nothing, nothing will happen.’

It’s a simple phrase which probably gives Blackpool Supporters Trust’s bid for the club yesterday relevance - at least they are trying to do something.

Having listened to the committee talk about the proposal, I have to admit I quickly came to the conclusion it was a bid which is highly unlikely to be accepted by the Oyston family.

In normal circumstances why would they, it would be like someone coming up to me and asking to buy my car, saying I can keep the seats as payment.

However, if the car was set to fail an MOT and needed a whole new engine to get it up and running again, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad deal after all.

And the situation at Blackpool FC is far from any normal circumstance - these are troubled times for the club and the business. It’s the chance to get out while the going is good which BST hoped might just appeal to the Oyston family, and you never know it might yet.

There’s no doubt in the next couple of years Blackpool FC will lose money. With the parachute payments now over, relegation to League One and the fans’ “not a penny more” campaign, it’s most likely the days of BFC posting millions of pounds profit are well and truly over for the time being.

It’s a situation which is causing havoc for the poor staff members left at Bloomfield Road, imagine trying to sell merchandise in the club shop right now, or even lure a sponsor for the front of the kit - no-one wants to be associated with a club on the slide.

Should Blackpool struggle in League One, or even worse be relegated to League Two, the Oystons will find themselves back in the position of having to dip into their own pockets to plug the gaps.

Put it this way, with a wage budget of around £4m and very little income from ticket sales, the £8m in Segesta’s bank won’t last for long, and it’s for that reason why this probably would be a good time for the Oystons to cut their losses and run.

Saying all that, this offer isn’t going to be the one which will convince the Oystons to walk away, although I think they are open to suggestions. Should a cash bid come their way there’s no doubt in my mind they’d be prepared to sell, despite how much they protest they wouldn’t, Pool fans’ problem now is finding someone with £20m or £30m who is willing to take a gamble.

No matter what the outcome of this bid is, as a bare minimum it should prove to the owners BST should be taken seriously and communicated with - they aren’t going away.

This is a group of supporters who have now established themselves as a very sensible and credible body of Blackpool fans, they should now be taken seriously by the football club.

Should the Oystons not be willing to sell for now, they must work with BST and BSA and at least attempt to find a solution to some of the issues which are going on at the moment.

BFC currently have a supporters liason officer in Mark Ridgway, it’s time they allowed him to work with the supporter groups, something he’s more than capable of doing.

So when reflecting on BST’s offer yesterday, while it may not prove the bid which the Oystons accept, a huge well done should be given to all involved.

While the bid may not yet rid the club of the Oyston family, it’s the most realistic attempt yet by BST, and to be in a position to launch a credible, serious offer to buy the football club in such a short period of time deserves huge credit indeed.

Jimmy’s words appear to have inspired the fans into action, maybe the owners could do with taking a leaf from their book.

After all, if you do nothing, nothing will happen.