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BST Newsletter #36

BST25/01/2019

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust Newsletter #36 January 2019
It really is starting to feel like the ‘last days of empire’. Admittedly, many were thinking the same this time last year, but in the intervening twelve months the true state of affairs behind the façade at Blackpool FC has merely deteriorated further, with no significant development to resolve the High Court award against the Oystons.

It appears as though Valeri Belokon has given Owen Oyston more opportunities than were merited to come to the table with a sensible proposal to mitigate and resolve the situation, but Oyston seems never to have discovered the reality principle, or at least he’s never come to terms with it. As a consequence, Mr Belokon’s legal team has finally applied for a Court Receiver to be appointed, the hearing to take place in early February, which news has understandably caused lots of comment, speculation and discussion about what happens next for our football club.

The announcement this week that a consortium fronted by ex-Blackpool player Paul Stewart is actively seeking to purchase the club has certainly added to the drama. It should be no surprise that interested parties are starting to declare their intent, as the long battle for Bloomfield Road enters what could and should be its decisive final phase.

The Trust’s preference remains unchanged: for local investors who have a real passion for Blackpool FC as a club and a community asset to take charge at Bloomfield Road, in some form of partnership with Valeri Belokon.

It should be remembered that there have been a number of speculative expressions of interest in Blackpool over the last few years and almost all of them have made contact with BST. They did so recognising that Blackpool fans are customers and without having the fan base onside, there is no football club. The Trust has advised them all that fans expect to see the departure of the Oystons from Blackpool FC and that a return of supporters en masse is unlikely to happen until that is the case. Finding an effective way to prise the club from Oyston’s grip has always been the issue, for it appears he will not willingly sell.

These are uncertain times for Blackpool FC and its anxious and long-suffering fans. The difficulty for supporters lies in not knowing exactly how this saga is going to play out and where we will be at the end of it. One thing is for sure. It makes sense for any business to want their customers onside and BST will always endeavour to represent Blackpool fans, whoever ends up owning the club.

Court Date(s):
The next hearing in the Belokon v Oyston litigation will take place in the High Court in London between 11th and 13th February, exact time and date still to be confirmed. Fans are advised not to make costly travel arrangements to attend until more information is known. The hearing if/when it happens could be very short and procedural. As soon as more is known we will post updates on social media. BST will have a presence at the hearing.

Accrington Stanley Away Day:
The away game at Accrington Stanley on 2nd February presents a great opportunity for Blackpool fans to turn up in numbers at what is probably the best run community club in the country. Here is an update regarding what is planned for the day and how you may purchase tickets directly from Accrington Stanley FC. We received this message from them recently:

“We are going to operate a shared FanZone with a live band, face painting, etc. and the selling of match badges with the proceeds going to Blackpool supporter groups via Blackpool Supporters’ Trust. It is going to be a community-driven match with all supporters there to enjoy the pre-match entertainment and the game. We have had nothing but support and praise from both Stanley and Blackpool supporters and fully expect the day to go really well.

Away fans can purchase their tickets either in person during normal office hours or via telephone on 01254 356950 and can pay via cash in person or by card over the phone. We can either send out the tickets recorded delivery (£2) or they can be collected on the day of the game. We would prefer to post them out if possible to ease congestion on the day of the game.

We would also encourage Blackpool fans to purchase their tickets in advance but any unsold tickets will be available to purchase right up to kick off. Prices are as follows: £20 adults, £15 concessions/students, £10 12 to 17 year olds, £5 under 12 years old.”

The BST committee would like to encourage as many Blackpool fans as possible to attend this fixture. We are now famous for our home boycotts but we would like to make the Accrington Stanley Away Day another opportunity to show that Blackpool fans are still here and are waiting in numbers to return as soon as our own club is Oyston free. It would also be an endorsement of a real community club, which Accrington Stanley epitomises under Andy Holt's leadership, and a chance to show our support for the way that club is run.

Oyston Out Open Letter:
In tandem with the tightening of the screw via a court appointed receiver, BST is planning to ask local figures with a public profile to sign an open letter calling on Owen Oyston to sell his stake in Blackpool FC. The intention is to get prominent businessmen, politicians and community leaders in the area to sign up to this. If you fall into that category or can suggest anyone who does, please contact secretary@blackpoolsupporterstrust.com with your (and/or their) contact details.

Oyston Out Scarves:
We have a new batch of Oyston Out scarves in stock. At £5 plus p&p they can be ordered from the Shop page on the BST website. They will also be on sale at BST’s ‘outdoor office’ outside the West Stand before all home games until supplies are gone.

How To Celebrate?:
Without wishing to tempt fate, the day will come when the Oystons go – and it could be sooner rather than later. How best to celebrate such an event might take some planning, so we are looking for suggestions from the membership now. Email the secretary or contact any member of the committee with suggestions.

Next BST General Meeting – 23rd February:
Here is a date for your diaries – the next BST General Meeting will be held on Saturday 23rd February at 1.00pm at a venue in Blackpool to be confirmed. We hope by then to have a clear indication of how the ‘endgame’ will progress. Further details and agenda coming soon.

Membership Push:
Do you know anybody (relation, friend, work colleague) who is a Blackpool fan but not a member of BST? At this pivotal time we are looking to increase our numbers and influence. If you can each persuade even one person to sign up to the Trust in the coming weeks that will help swell the tide of optimism and increase the legitimacy of BST as representative of the fan base.


Feedback:
Thank you for your continued support. If you think that we can improve what we do or have comments or questions for the Trust – please contact secretary@blackpoolsupporterstrust.com or write to Blackpool Supporters Trust, 16 Falmouth Road, Blackpool FY1 6LH.

The newsletter is a supplement to our website at www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com where you will find regular news updates and information about the Trust, issues concerning the football club and our involvement in community activities.

Standard Links:
Our website is: www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com
Our FB page is: www.facebook.com/blackpoolST
Our Twitter is: @BlackpoolST

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