mercoledì 22 luglio 2015

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust -The Proposed Bid - an update

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust has received no response from Owen Oyston to the letter of intent containing our £16m bid to buy his majority shareholding in Segesta Ltd (Blackpool FC). The deadline has passed without even the basic courtesy of a reply to our written offer. This lack of response is disappointing but not in the least surprising. The current owners have made it their strategy never to deal with the supporters on equal or respectful terms. It appears that the only thing the “company” ever wanted from their customers is our money.

Karl Oyston has confirmed that for him, it will always be business first. This does make Blackpool somewhat unusual in the English game, in that the other clubs put football first i.e. their main purpose is to perform at the highest financially sustainable level of the football pyramid that each club can manage. The owners of Blackpool FC, on the other hand, attempt to make either the largest profit they can or the least loss. This disadvantages the club hugely as we are not competing on a level playing field with our fellow clubs.

When Valeri Belokon gave us the financial muscle that we previously lacked (with Ian Holloway providing the imagination, unity and belief), we soared to heights that were previously unimaginable. That success came about through shrewd and significant investment in the playing staff and inspired leadership by the coaches and manager. It gave Blackpool FC the fantastic opportunity of a sustainable platform for continued success – if only the owners had chosen to build on that achievement… but we all know how the legacy was squandered.

In contrast to “the best trip”, the current situation could hardly be more bleak. There appears to be no hope of any real or lasting change under this current regime. The owners seem to be completely unwilling to compromise and instead have alienated the fan base almost entirely. They continue to prosecute fans, continue to issue threatening statements, have refused to give the local paper access to the club and, in the opinion of our members, continue to demonstrate their lack of suitability to be custodians of Blackpool FC.

BST’s leveraged bid was well thought-out and professional. It gave the owners an opportunity to resolve the crisis at the heart of our club. It also afforded them an opportunity to begin a genuine negotiation with the Trust. The deadline may have passed, but our offer remains “on the table” while we assess our next move. That next move will be subject to the wishes and approval of our members. There are a number of options that will be decided upon by our members.

We remain committed to discussion with the Oystons about a change in ownership or a change in the power structure at the club, to bring about a situation in which the fans have a real say in how our club is governed and how our money is spent.

The Trust was in attendance at the recent Football Supporters’ Summit where it was made clear that our supporters’ efforts to change things at our club have inspired many individuals and groups across the land. We are at the forefront of football activism, in part because of the intransigence and
stubbornness of the current owners. There is huge sympathy amongst supporters across the UK for the plight of Blackpool fans. The main concern our fellow supporters raised was that if further competitive matches were abandoned, we might lose that essential support. Many, including a majority of Huddersfield fans, understand why we took the action we did. However, were that type of action to become a regular phenomenon, Blackpool supporters might find themselves just as isolated as the Oystons.

The Trust will therefore be putting the issue of pitch invasions/match abandonment to our members for them to decide. We will also be looking to our members to decide the direction that they wish us to go in following the lack of a response to our bid or any other communication we have sent to the club since our formation just over a year ago. We are as determined as ever to make a difference but the fan base must be united if we are to be successful. We expect our colleagues in the Tangerine Knights to continue with their excellent work and we will continue to liaise with them. We also hope that BSA will chose to align with us to secure a positive future for the club and will be asking our members to decide what they believe should be done with regard to the Fans’ Parliament.

As Andy Walsh Of FC United said: "We can all unite against what we don't like but it is another thing to put something in its place. First and foremost, we are fans. It is easy to say what you won't do but not quite so straight forward when it comes to deciding what you will do...I needed to work out what I would do. Inaction is not an option."

Join the Trust and help to bring about the football club that our supporters and the town deserves.

Next BST General Meeting: We are therefore inviting all our members to our next General Meeting on Thursday 30th July at 7.30pm at the No 1 Club. Please come along and decide what you want your Trust to do.


Distributed By Free Blogger Templates | Design by FBTemplates | BTT