Blackpool Supporters Trust chair, Christine Seddon, believes the club is now in ‘good hands’ following the appointment of a new board by receiver Paul Cooper.
Cooper appointed Ben Hatton as managing director, Ian Currie as a non-executive director and former Manchester United chief operating officer Michael Bolingbroke as a consultant after he removed Owen Oyston and his daughter Natalie Christopher from the board.
The Trust’s Tim Fielding has also been brought in to represent fans’ views although his role will be advisory with no voting rights.
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette Seddon said ‘The announcement of the interim board, plus the news that both Owen Oyston and Natalie Christopher have been removed, is momentous for the long-suffering fans of Blackpool FC.’
‘Ever since the court hearing when a receiver was appointed, Blackpool fans have been keen to do whatever is required to get our club back on track, and of course to return in our droves to Bloomfield Road. Blackpool fans can finally come home.’
‘The calibre of the board appointees is impressive and should give confidence to every supporter that our club is in good hands.’
‘The inclusion of Tim Fielding, honorary vice-president of BST, is a real step forward for our fans, who have spent years in exile and are now very keen to have a voice.’
‘We know that Tim will represent all Blackpool fans with dignity, intelligence and respect.’
Blackpool supporters have fought a long and bitter fight against the eighty-five-year-old convicted rapist’s ownership of the club which included boycotting matches.
While Oyston will not be entirely out of the picture until the club is sold, boycotting fans are already planning to return to Bloomfield Road for the next home fixture against Southend United a week on Saturday. By then it is hoped the receiver will have full control of the club’s accounts and finances.
Seddon felt the news of Oyston’s removal from the board was a success for fan power and expressed the desire it would inspire supporters at other clubs in a similar predicament. She said ‘It is to be hoped that the wider football world and the football authorities have taken note of just what an incredible achievement this collective fan action by Blackpool supporters has been.’
‘It should bring hope to those fans who are suffering their own problems, and I sincerely wish that rogue owner’s who are still in place at clubs like Charlton Athletic, Port Vale, Coventry City, Hull City etc… are feeling very uncomfortable today.’
‘Football without fans truly is nothing. Blackpool fans have played a unique and pioneering part in effecting change, not just at our club but hopefully for football in general.’
Many Blackpool supporters will be smiling for the first time for a very long time with the news that Oyston has finally been removed.
Seddon has spoken wise words, and the resolve of the Blackpool supporters should be admired and copied by other clubs in similar circumstances.
The quality of the interim board is without question with Hatton, Currie and Bollingbrooke having years of experience in football at clubs like Manchester United and Inter Milan.
The Reciever deserves enormous credit for the appointment of a supporter representative to the board.
Football is nothing without the supporters, and Blackpool fans will be hoping that this will be at the forefront of the EFL’s thoughts when they decide the clubs fate over the imposition of a possible points deduction in line with their rules on insolvency.
At the moment their silence on the issue is deafening.