Monday, 31 March 2014
Paul Brooking from Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust
- Discussing his experience of having a Supporters Trust at Blackburn and how it benefits the fans and the club
Kate Ramsey from F.C United of Manchester
- How a Trust/Community can benefit the community with examples of community projects undertaken by F.C United of Manchester
Let's give both these speakers a warm Blackpool welcome!
Confirm your attendance to the Trust meeting here
We recognise that many of our overseas and exiles supporters would like the opportunity to vote on the formation of a Blackpool Supporters Trust. However, under our current constitution and the guidance of Supporters Direct (the legal body and mechanism behind the formation of football Trusts) we must request that only votes in person and on the day will go towards the overall count.
We do not currently have an official electoral role, but should we become a Trust then we will then have the ability to accept votes from those that are unable to attend meetings.
What we would like to add though is that messages of support are very much welcome and will be read out and used to place around the meeting room. Please send your messages of support to our Secretary at email@example.com.
It's not often, if ever, we get this type of event in Blackpool let alone being free and a chance for everyone in attendance to make history.
The first speaker and compère for the event will be Roy Calley. If you don't know Roy he is a lifelong Blackpool supporter and wrote the fantastic book ''Blackpool: The Complete Record''. He is also known for his work at the BBC and Radio Lancashire.
We are really excited about Roy joining us. Confirm your attendance below.
Supporters Trust - Event Invite - Click Here
Sunday, 30 March 2014
As we near that date it's worth recapping on what a supporters Trust is, why it's important and the benefits of it.
The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the Supporters' Trust movement to Seasiders fans and the people of Blackpool with the help of guest speakers from the government backed Supporters Direct organisation.
Blackpool FC Supporters Trust will be a democratic, non-profit making organisation owned and controlled by the fans themselves. It will be open, accountable, affordable, actively inclusive and representative of its members throughout the world.
Blackpool supporters will be provided with a truly independent voice. There is a great deal of knowledge, expertise, energy and enthusiasm amongst the tens of thousands of people who love and support our club. These supporters are the club's most valuable asset and can provide enormous benefit to the club and the wider community when given the opportunity and encouragement to do so. We believe that the formation of a democratic, representative, active supporters' trust can help to further galvanise our fans and our owners, both present and future, for the long term progress of the town and the team.
What is a supporters Trust?
A formal, democratic and not-for-profit organisation of fans. The main actions behind a supporters trust is to strengthen the influence of supporters over the running of the club they support. As a registered company, a Supporters Trust when established, provides a safety net for the club - quickly moving to gather finances and/or form a consortium of investors to ensure that any immediate threats to the club's future can be prevented or avoided. A Supporters Trust can also be a registered charity.
Why is it important for Blackpool supporters?
Furthermore, becoming a Trust will give us a responsibility to carry out charity work in the local community. We want to form the Trust for future generations of Blackpool supporters.
What benefits will supporters see?
Monday, 24 March 2014
Interview with our Chairman Tim Fielding for On The Spot News discussing what the demonstration is about.
Marching along Seasider's Way
Footage of the march on The Football League Show.
Sunday, 23 March 2014
Date: 18th March 2014
Attendees: Valeri Belokon (President BFC), Kaspars Varpins (Director BFC), Tim Fielding (Chair SISA), Stephen Smith (Vice-Chair SISA)
The meeting opens with TF explaining to VB the circumstances that led to the formation of SISA namely the fans concerns over the number of the issues facing the Club at the beginning of 2013 (no manager, poor form, perceived lack of investment).
SS elaborated and explained how the role of SISA was to independently represent and campaign on behalf of Blackpool FC supporters on issues decided by its members. It was set up as a pro-Blackpool FC organisation intending to secure improved communication between the fans and the club. SISA saw its role to encourage the Club to be more open, responsive and accountable to its supporters and felt this could best be achieved by increasing the level of influence the supporters have at BFC.
TF explained that SISA wish to work constructively with the Club, and aim to ensure that supporters’ comments and opinions are shared with and listened to by the Club and any other relevant groups or agencies.
SS confirmed that they we currently had between 1100-1200 members.
TF then took VB and KV through the initiatives SISA had worked on to date (recognition by Supporters Direct, Safe Standing Roadshow, ACV, £90m note, future protests and forthcoming games) and the plans going forward with the Supporters Trust and what this means in practical terms.
VB queried the position re BSA and TF confirmed they were the official supporters association whilst SISA was independent.
SS then dealt with the problems SISA had encountered in establishing ourselves in that the Oyston family and BSA both currently refused to recognise or have any formal dialogue with us.
TF and SS spoke about the steps that had been taken to develop media relations with Radio Lancs, local TV and the Gazette.
TF then detailed the concerns the membership felt as BFC fans about the lack of direction at the Club over the last two years whilst at the same time large sums had been removed from the Club through Segesta, Zabaxe and other Oyston-owned entities.
Both TF and SS highlighted numerous examples of BFC fan concerns - player recruitment policies, over-reliance on loanees, lack of progress re the training ground, poor maintenance of the stadium infrastructure (VB shown the photos of the cladding as an example ). It was SISA's view that these concerns would have led to a significant drop in attendances last year but for the extraordinary season ticket initiative. This type of initiative was unlikely in SISA's view to work to the same degree again.
TF also observed it was SISA's view that the policies being followed at the moment couldn't continue beyond next season as they heavily relied upon receipt of the parachute payments - the last of which was payable in the summer.
TF concluded by expressing SISA's concerns that BFC was very quickly returning to the position it had been in before VB's investment with no legacy from the Premiership monies and that absent a sea change in approach season ticket sales were likely to be markedly reduced for the 2014/5 season which ultimately would be likely to escalate the downward spiral.
VB then took the opportunity to explain his position namely that he had found his investment in BFC stimulating. He was committed to supporting BFC and didn't see himself investing in any other football club. As a businessman he wanted to make a return on his investment however equally he realised the importance in investing in the team and recognised that in commercial terms football clubs were somewhat unique because of their social importance which he felt imposed upon the owners a responsibility to engage with and take account of the views of all Club stakeholders including the fans.
VB confirmed he'd enjoyed playing an active role in strategic decisions at BFC. He gave examples of his positive contributions - the development of the South Stand, direct discussions with Ian Holloway re player recruitment and the formulation of a strategy with OO and IH that underlined the investment he had made in BFC.
VB was disappointed about the troubled performance of the Club this season and discussed with SISA the possibilities of how we might improve decision- making at the Club so as to improve the team's performance next season.
KV confirmed that in general terms the figures that appeared in Chris Walker's analysis of VB's investment were correct. VB’s total investmentto date stood at over £9m of which £182k had been repaid.
Moving forward VB was willing to work with SISA and confirmed he was also willing to do the same with the Supporters Trust once formed. As he saw it feedback as to the fans views should be of significant importance to any owners decision-making process.
VB was also in principle willing to work with the Trust on community / charity projects and consider funding for a number of pre-agreed initiatives. He would also be willing to hold further meetings with SISA/Trust representatives in the future. In the interim TF/SS would keep both VB and KV appraised as to significant developments regarding the Trust by telephone/email.
At the end of the meeting VB confirmed his continuous commitment towards development of BFC and was pleased to see that SISA fans have taken an active role in it. VB and KV were honoured to host TF and SS in Riga and look forward to fruitful cooperation with fans in the future. They wished good luck to all Blackpool fans.
Friday, 21 March 2014
Article 35 of the 2010 UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations stipulated that each professional club across Europe must appoint an SLO by the 2012/13 season. The role of the SLO is to ensure proper and constructive discourse between the Club and their fans.
We have contacted the Club, Supporters Direct and the Football League on several occasions asking for an appointment to be made and so we were were delighted to receive the following email from the The Football League yesterday:
''Further to our conversations regarding Blackpool’s appointment of a new Supporter Liaison Officer, we can confirm that they have now appointed Mark Ridgway to that role.
Mark Ridgway’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his telephone number is 01253 685023. This information will appear on our website shortly.
Thank you for contacting The Football League.''
We see this as another step towards greater transparency and an enhanced supporter/owner relationship at Blackpool. We also looking forward to engaging with Mark over the coming months and years.
We are sure you will join us in welcoming Mark to his role as our new SLO.
For more information on the SLO role Click Here
Another good read is the official UEFA Supporters Liaison Officer handbook
Thursday, 20 March 2014
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
"This week I will be launching a new Blackpool fanzine – Tangerine Theory. I would be lying if I said it has been easy. I can certainly tell you that its launch could not be timed worse. It will be born into a world of anger if not, worse, apathy. I’m honestly worried if anybody will have the energy to bother reading it after what will be 19 games without a win – equaling our worst record in history – if we don’t beat Millwall tonight.
Things could not be more different when I first conceived of the idea. I was working in London over the summer, and had to read as much about my club as possible online to keep up to speed and feel involved – blogs such as Measured Progress, with OneDaveBamber and TangerineDreaming’s excellent writing, as well as John Aspinall’s work with the Podcast were not only great for that, but they also served as inspiration. Things were pretty good, we were up at the top of the league, and Paul Incehad the most points per game in BFC managerial history – a point I made again and again with my short lived blog, the early Tangerine Theory in all its naïve glory. As an exile, I was seeing the results without enduring the negative performances. It was hard not to get caught up.
Despite everything that has happened since then, I have always had the desire to keep going with the fanzine, and to be honest it will be strange seeing it out in the public this week. I have been swapping emails with Morty from the NATA, but apart from that this has all been just an idea in my head.
The pilot is raw, and as is a pilot’s nature, an illustration of work in progress. Butthrough it all I feel it still holds that naïve optimism that brought about its original conception. One section features 3 fan testimonies, with emotive and I feel important writing fromthose who really matter – Blackpool supporters. I hope their stories will give us all a small reminder as to why we do this. It certainly made the effort of putting this all together worth it.
The download will be available later this week and you can follow us on Twitter @BFCFanzine. Anybody looking to write for the next edition can either get in contact through Twitter, or at my email click here."