Blackpool FC – a fall from grace

Over the last few years Blackpool Football Club have certainly attracted the headlines, but unfortunately for the supporters of the seaside outfit, they have been for all of the wrong reasons. The club is in a complete mess and once again, the fans’ protests have been in vain as they attempt to dislodge Karl Oyston from his position of almighty power.

If you rewind to the 2010/11 campaign, you’ll rightly recall that The Tangerines were competing against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League. Fast forward a few years and they are now fighting for survival in League One, the third tier of English football. Where has it all gone wrong?

 

Fans of Blackpool are joined by supporters of other clubs to protest. (Courtesy of Andrew Sanderson).

It has been a real travesty to see a club spiral uncontrollably down the football pyramid under such circumstances. Blackpool are yet another club that has fallen victim of being unable to compete financially with fellow teams. Following promotion to the top flight, the Oystons reportedly had a dispute with club president Valeri Belokon which has led to ongoing legal wrangles that continue today.

Despite Ian Holloway and his players battling bravely during the Premier League season, Blackpool succumbed to relegation back to the Championship. The 2011/12 campaign then saw The Tangerines almost make an immediate return to the top tier. After finishing 5th to qualify for the play-offs, they progressed to the final where they eventually lost 2-1 to West Ham United at Wembley Stadium.

At this point, supporters would have been optimistic that advances would then be made to allow for another promotion charge. However, things didn’t quite go to plan. The next two seasons in the second tier saw Pool finish 15th and 20th before they were relegated to League One at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. Being the bottom placed side in the division was hard for supporters to fathom but their total of 26 points was the joint lowest ever recorded in the division.

 

The floodlights shine down on a dejected Blackpool crowd. (Courtesy of Andrew Sanderson).

Prior to the current season getting underway, Blackpool had only 8 players contracted to the club and that list included no goalkeeper. However, after managing to scrap together a squad, The Tangerines have struggled to adapt to life in the third tier. Now managed by Neil McDonald, the Bloomfield Road club occupy a position in the relegation zone, currently 2 points from safety.

As a consequence, attendances have continually dropped throughout the season. The main reason for fans staying away, however, is that they are protesting against the ongoing troubles at the club. Supporters have been urging for change at their beloved team for some time now and you may remember their demonstration on the pitch that led to their Championship fixture with Huddersfield Town to be abandoned.

 

Supporters demonstrate on the pitch at Bloomfield Road. (Courtesy of Andrew Sanderson).

I and the rest of the Coventry City faithful know what it feels like to be in such circumstances. We have endured endless periods of disappointment and I’m sure that when we play Pool on Saturday, we will be respectively sympathetic towards them. Fingers crossed that both of our clubs can get back to where they belong in the coming years.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Colin Goodwin says:

    The main thrust of the drive to rid our club of the Oyston Family is the NAPM Campaign (Not A Penny More) Please could u request u fans purchase no refreshments or merchandise of any kind at/in the ground.Also it would be heartening to hear some “Oyston OUT !” chants from your lot. Good Luck to you on match-day many of us no longer care what the actual result is as we do not regard this as Blackpool FC anymore we see it only as something we all want rid of ASAP and thats OYSTON FC

  2. Andy says:

    Great article – very well written and we at the seaside appreciate your support for our dire situation

  3. Terry Owen says:

    Hopefully Oyston will be gone soon and Blackpool can return to the place they rightfully belong…I am a midlander now living in Lancaster, I will be supporting The Sky Blue shorts on Saturday ..but will help you in your chant.

  4. Steve says:

    Sadly there is no longer any atmosphere created by the home crowd at Bloomfield Road these days as compared with the pre and 12month postpremiership days when the place was bouncing . Unfortunately supporters have been driven away by the actions and mismanagement of the Oystons leaving faithfull supporters regretfully and reluctantly no alternative than to withdraw their support , which is the only thing that will affect the O’s. With the Sky Blues bringing a tremendous following there will be a one way atmosphere created by the away supporters, but please don’t take the micky out of the home support as those remaining sit there in sufferance expecting the inevitable. Good luck to both teams and a good day out for the Sky Blue supporters.

  5. John says:

    JOHN As a life long (55 years) Coventry City fan i wish Blackpool all the best in their endeavours. I am old enough to remember the legendary Tommy Hutchison who we signed from you and is the best player Coventry City have had on the past 60 years! I think the situations both Clubs are in is an utter disgrace and both have totally unfit owners. The vast majority of Cov fans laothe and detest SISU. I am unable to be there on Saturday but hope it is a good atmosphere and a decent game and that ALL Cov fans behave respectfully to the Blackpool fans!

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