We’ve all been looking for some good news, so let’s talk about some positives in this week’s column…
Those of us who are campaigning and hoping for a change in the boardroom are cautiously pleased that Mr Belokon has finally instigated a high-court claim against the owners. As a Trust, we tread a fine line between protesting against the way the club has been run in recent seasons and wanting to show our support for the coaching staff and players who are doing their best despite being desperately short of the resources that ought to be forthcoming (the “millions” that were there if needed as we bombed out of the Championship and settled straight to the bottom of League One).
So after plumbing the absolute depths at Shrewsbury on Saturday, there was something of a better feeling on Tuesday night when Blackpool FC won at home for the first time in eight months. By all accounts, they played some lively, attacking football in places. Yes, we’d like the Oystons to leave our club – but if that can be achieved without us dropping down another division, so much the better.
Also on Tuesday night, the BBC Northwest TV cameras were out and about around Bloomfield Road recording interviews and footage of the lively pre-match demonstration for an upcoming Inside Out documentary about the plight of our club. Everything that helps keep the predicament of Blackpool FC in the wider public eye is a good thing, and the Trust is also very active in the matter of football governance, liaising with our local MPs and with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, lobbying to get changes in the way football clubs are administered, to give supporters more say in how clubs are run and to make owners more accountable.
But BST is not just about football, any more than we are “just a protest group” as some choose to label us. We are looking to make positive changes both in the way our club is run and in the wider community to which it belongs. In addition to supporting the Gary Parkinson Trust, Variety Children’s Charity and the Kensington Foundation, we have recently sponsored development of a website for the Blackpool & District Youth Football League, helped to sponsor the restoration of the vintage Blackpool Football Club tram 641, which is on static display at the Pleasure Beach for the rest of the season and made donations to the GTF/Crainey football academy and to Billy Ronson and Iain Hesford at the recent Legends memorial match. We will be looking to expand our community activities in the coming months and will be hoping to encourage local people with time and skills to join in some of the Trust’s community initiatives. Watch this space.
Finally, as part of our ethical boycott, the Trust is always looking to provide alternative options for fans who choose not to purchase goods and services from the club. In addition to the alternative shirt (of which several hundred have already been sold), we are pleased to announce a tie-in with the newly launched Tangerine Radio. For fans looking for an alternative to TangerinePlayer, Tangerine Radio is now streaming 24/7. The station is completely apolitical and non-partisan, and will take a journalistic approach to the issues at Blackpool FC. It has no direct association with the club, its owners or any other local club. The staff and presenters are all volunteers and give their time and skills for free. However, there are running costs for the station and as such, Tangerine Radio hopes that the local community will help to support the station. It costs just £20 a year to become a ‘Supporter’ of Tangerine Radio. You do not have to be a subscriber to listen anywhere in the world, but we very much hope you become a ‘Supporter’, as 30% of all sponsor and advertising revenue goes directly to Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, with another 20% also allocated to local groups, communities and organisations. We will post more comprehensive details on our website and social media this week-end.