Long-suffering Blackpool fans give verdict on relegation

It was the day the fans had been bracing themselves for - the 'inevitable' relegation of the team many had followed since childhood.

Sunday, 8th May 2016, 4:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th May 2016, 5:51 pm
Blackpool fans Andy Walton, Kevin Cox, Pete Hall, Mel Forshaw, John Jones
Blackpool fans Andy Walton, Kevin Cox, Pete Hall, Mel Forshaw, John Jones

But the Seasiders’ nose-dive into League Two was met with a sense of resignation and apathy, with a mocking cheer heard when the result was confirmed.

Supporters made their way to pubs across the resort to watch rolling news of the last day of the football season, despairing at the team they had loved for decades.

There was even laughter from Blackpool fans when the fifth goal went in, such was their disgust.

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Blackpool supporter John Muspratt

“Before the game started, I was hoping to get relegated because that’s all he (Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston) deserves”, said John Muspratt, who watched the results in one of the town’s pubs.

The 50-year-old, from South Shore, has been watching Blackpool FC for 45 years, and has had a season ticket for 20 years.

But he said: “I didn’t bother this year.

“My daughter used to come from Crewe from university for games.

Blackpool supporter John Muspratt

“I didn’t really enjoy it last season, but this season I didn’t even bother getting a season ticket, which is quite heartbreaking because it’s something we used to do as a family.

“But, unfortunately, you’ve got to make a stand.

“I don’t know what’s going to change it.”

John, who used to watch the team with his parents and family, said he had hoped for relegation, and said: “Why should he (Oyston) get to stay up, when we really should have been looking at promotion not relegation.

“I don’t know what we can hope for.

“Is it going to be another relegation?

“Is it going to be Conference football?

“It is sad to say those kinds of things, it’s heartbreaking, but it’s got to come to an end.

“I think relegation might help, I think it might push his hand.”

After the game John Jones, 50, also from South Shore, said: “I remember when Morecambe away was a pre-season friendly.

“Now that will probably be who we’re playing to stay up next year.”

He said before the result was confirmed that he didn’t want the team to be relegated, and said: “That doesn’t mean I support the regime, but I support the team.”

John said he no longer went to every game and wouldn’t buy a season ticket next season, but would “still go to the odd game”.

Andy Walton, 53, said relegation had been “inevitable” for “at least half the season”.

He said: “I’ve been to most of the home games this season, I have a season ticket, but I won’t be renewing it.

“I’ve been a Blackpool fan since ’79, I’ve been going a long time through good times and bad times.

“From the Premiership season to this, it’s not good enough and it’s all down to one family – the Oyston family.”
He described the atmosphere at Bloomfield Road as “toxic”, and said: “There’s no singing any more, there’s no fans there, they are simply just killing off the club.”

Following the relegation confirmation he said: “We shouldn’t be in this state.
“Who were Fleetwood years ago, a non-league side, now we are a league below them.”