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BlackpoolSupportersTrust Posted on 21/04/2017 09:14
Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
 
Blackpool fans can be forgiven for feeling battle weary as the issues with the owners of our club continue. Whether you are a boycotter or an attendee, NAPM or selective as to how you support the team, this war of attrition is enough to make the strongest of supporters feel despairing.

A well-known saying states that it is always darkest just before dawn and there is good reason for Blackpool fans to believe that our particular dawn is about to break.

For many years, fans of Blackpool (as at most clubs) have believed that the owners are pretty much all powerful - that they are the majority owners of the club and therefore can do whatever they like. Blackpool FC is a business and as with any other enterprise, the owners can choose how they run it. Likewise, the fans are the customers of a football business and can also choose whether or not they should fund it. Most businesses have to work very hard to establish an identifiable brand, encourage loyalty to that brand and then maintain it. Owners of football clubs don't usually have that worry; the loyalty that comes from the core supporters of a football club is a given and only very extreme circumstances would see that loyalty diminish and the customers abandon the brand.

Unfortunately, at Blackpool FC we have experienced at first hand the most extreme circumstances, with owners who have squandered the many opportunities to progress the club, allowing it to disintegrate and fail whilst at the same time making use of football monies to prioritise their other, non-football related businesses. Examples of their negligence and arrogant disrespect of the supporters are legion and well documented. Is it any wonder that fans have voted with their feet?

The question for Blackpool fans is this: is adherence to the ethical boycott or Not A Penny More actually making any difference? The Trust may not be able to give a guaranteed answer but an assessment of the available points to a reasonable conclusion.

The published accounts for the 2015/2016 season show a loss for the first time since Blackpool FC were in the Premier League. That should not come as a surprise to anyone. Even before the full force of the fans' boycott started to be felt, many people were already staying away and season tickets had been heavily subsidised in the form of a cheap 2 year deal. Sponsorship and corporate revenues were dwindling. It is not necessary to be an accountant to work out that the next set of accounts, for 2016/17, will be considerably worse.

The past twelve months have been catastrophic for the owners. Not only have they overseen the alienation of the vast majority of the fan base who have maintained a boycott for the whole season, so far resisting the temptation to return when results on the pitch have improved; they have also lost out in court. The cases they tried to bring against Jeremy Smith and fans' website Back Henry Street failed, leaving them responsible for all costs.

They lost the first case brought by Valeri Belokon against them which is likely to cost them something in the region of £3 million including costs. The bigger case in the summer is likely to involve far larger sums of money, possibly in the region of £25 or £30 million. These legal cases, coupled with the effects of the ethical boycott could create a financial storm which the owners will not be able to weather. The current lack of revenue and complete absence of any kind of good will represents a totally unsustainable business model.

The Oystons' decision to make substantial loans of Blackpool football club monies to their other businesses has not only fuelled the anger of unsatisfied supporters; it has also but left the owners in a dilemma as to how they can move the club forward when the money that should be ‘there when we need it’ clearly is not. Even their own auditors, A I Cherry, would only sign off the accounts on a qualified basis, stating that they were ‘unable to obtain sufficient evidence about the recoverability ....of the amounts owed by certain parties...’ These loans, totalling £28.6 million so far, have been made ‘unsecured, interest free and repayable on demand’. A further £5 million has been loaned out to Oyston connected entities - examples being Oyston Estates Ltd, Lancashire Magazine, Biomass boilers, even Zabaxe, the company which received £11 million during the Premier League season. No explanation has ever been forthcoming as to why football monies are being used for these purposes while the football club struggles to achieve anything except retrograde progress. It is easy to understand why the fans have decided not to continue funding such a regime.

Finally, the financial juggernaut heading straight for the Oystons in the shape of Valeri Belokon will be a game changer. Whilst no one knows the outcome of a case which is not due to be heard until June, there is already sufficient information available following the earlier case in December to make it clear that it is highly likely that Mr Belokon will be successful. There are those who ask what would happen if he only wants his money and then walks away? The Oystons could buy him out but is it likely that they will want to pay him something in the region of £30 million to acquire his shares when they already have enough shares to make whatever decisions they want without him? They would in effect be paying massively to keep something they already have. Given that there is so much money tied up in loans and ‘assets’, how will they find the funds required to pay Belokon as well as continue to subsidise a football club where the fans are in revolt, the income has dried up and the local community are making it clear that they are not welcome?

When people are caught up in a situation, it is not always possible to be dispassionate about the evidence before us but it pays to check out the real situation and make up our own minds rather than react emotionally to the general consensus which may be fuelled by fear of the unknown and a lack of facts.

Journalist Oliver Holt, writing about the troubles at fellow crisis club Leyton Orient, said: ‘There are people or companies like Francesco Becchetti dotted all around our leagues, people who use clubs like playthings, people who almost seem to take a perverse pleasure in their ruin. In some cases, what looks like frivolous sadism to fans is a mask for financial exploitation. The effect on the supporters is the same.’

For those fans who think that withholding revenue from the club is somehow disloyal to the team they have supported for so many years - think again. There is a much bigger picture here and we as fans need to have the courage to stand firm against the financial tyranny that is devastating our club.

Our collective actions are having a powerful effect. It may still look dark out there, but listen hard and you can already hear the birds singing.
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kieronjames1 Posted on 21/04/2017 09:20

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Well said BST.............

Bridget will be along any moment with "its" failed rhetoric and clear reminder that fools learn nothing.
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martonmosser Posted on 21/04/2017 09:20

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Excellent [^] NAPM plus Uncle Val = victory [;)]
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BadaBing Posted on 21/04/2017 09:24

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Excellent summary.

Even a simpleton should be able to understand from that, where the money has gone.
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peleno1 Posted on 21/04/2017 09:26

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column

Are BST employing a professional writer.The column gets better every week.If only the mushrooms would read it they might understand NAPM.
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20togo Posted on 21/04/2017 09:26

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Yes,excellent summary of where we are at this point in time.It paints a bleak picture.

For the Oystons.
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hackneyseasider Posted on 21/04/2017 09:27

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
[^]
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TwelveAngryMen Posted on 21/04/2017 09:29

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Indeed 20's
I suggest those who adopt the mantra ' there's no point , they aren't going anywhere ' digest BST's concise summary as to where we are currently at
Stand firm and eventually something has to give
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blackpool_rocks Posted on 21/04/2017 09:38

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
There's always light at the end of the tunnel, we just don't know how long the tunnel is?

Great article..[^]
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fcblackpool Posted on 21/04/2017 09:40

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Very heartening to read that[^]

The whole scenario has been predictable in the main since 2012. The end result hasn't altered a jot since then.

Ultimately it will be Victory for the supporters, just a shame the timescale is much longer than anyone could have thought.
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fcblackpool Posted on 21/04/2017 09:41

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
rocks, at least we know the light isn't an oncoming train.
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onlyonepool Posted on 21/04/2017 09:46

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Powerful piece[^]
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fixitian Posted on 21/04/2017 09:48

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
I'd like this taken to the next level.
Have this printed, and popped into every letterbox in Blackpool and surrounding areas.
Yes, it would be like putting the Oystons to the sword. And why not? The have no conscience whatsoever.
Yes, I would be delighted to contribute to it.[^]
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insider Posted on 21/04/2017 09:49

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Waiting for a comment from Bridgey. [:D]
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20togo Posted on 21/04/2017 09:49

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
TAM

I agree about digesting the concise summary. And that is why articles like this will do more good in trying to talk and convince those who still attend rather than those who simply aim abuse at them.

Articles like this are what will eventually unify the vast majority of fans.
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Greeno71 Posted on 21/04/2017 09:50

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
I wonder if Owen has the BST column read to him, and compares and contrasts the style and content with the public utterances of his halfwit son?
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fcblackpool Posted on 21/04/2017 09:53

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
20's nothing like this article will stop the people going in. They have their reasons. Only recently I've spoken to 2 who both stated they hated the O's, realised what was going on, but justified it for other reasons.

You can lead a horse to water an' all that...
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poolcat Posted on 21/04/2017 09:56

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
[^] Perfect summary of the whole sorry saga.
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Pool4eva Posted on 21/04/2017 09:57
Edited On: 21/04/2017 09:57
Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Great article [^] bring on JD3 [^]
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clappers Posted on 21/04/2017 09:58

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
When it comes to BFC my patience is infinite.
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20togo Posted on 21/04/2017 10:25

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
fc

My general point is that if we've 1500 st holders this season and that number is reduced to 1400 next season then a further 100 have given up going. Now in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter what their reason is the fact is they've stopped. Abusing them doesn't help.
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juniorbents_platformshoes Posted on 21/04/2017 10:26

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
[^] Bridget Jones must be busy shopping for bigger knickers.
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BadaBing Posted on 21/04/2017 10:32

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
28.6 million
5 million
11 million

Almost 45 million there alone.

Disgusting.

How any Mushroom can walk inside Bloomfield Road with a clear conscience is beyond me.
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meduck Posted on 21/04/2017 10:39

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
''its not dark yet,but its getting there''
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tommytwojags Posted on 21/04/2017 10:51

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
The darkness falling on the regime is the light at the end of the tunnel for everyone else. Good update BST.
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Levi501 Posted on 21/04/2017 11:00

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Great column as usual BST. Bring on JD3, then "Flaming" June, & a burnt out bank balance at the end of it!! OO
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tangerinemoss1 Posted on 21/04/2017 11:02

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Good read, keep the faith brothers and sisters.
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bottle Posted on 21/04/2017 11:10

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Agree with 20's here, it's reached a tipping point now and there are enough of us depriving them of money than can be made up by the 2 thousand or so that continue to try and top up the losses.

There is a massive hole in the side of the "SS Oyston" and the overwhelmed crew are trying to bail out water with teaspoons, maybe a few more abandoning ship will hopefully see the Officer Class going down with ship.

A very well written piece and those that have joined #NAPM can be proud of the (but at times heart breaking) decision to do something as simple as to "just stop going".

I'm sure our short term pain will lead to long term gain in the end [^]


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COYP Posted on 21/04/2017 11:20
Edited On: 21/04/2017 11:21
Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
All very valid points .. however, have read that same column every Friday for the last three years .. when are BST going to start focussing on what they're doing and not what the O's are doing?
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martonmosser Posted on 21/04/2017 11:51

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Ironic that you comment on others but do nothing yourself hey COYP [:o)]
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Don_K_Lasher Posted on 21/04/2017 11:51

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Coyp
I'm quite happy for them to 'keep their eye on the ball' and focus on the main objective.
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Martonbornandbred Posted on 21/04/2017 12:12

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Very well written article. They just get better.
We have very good and intelligent people in BST. It's a pity the O's don't see the bigger picture and use the fans to their advantage.

All the goodwill is out there if attitudes on their part changed, but unfortunately they are so XXXXXX minded they want to do it their way by walking all over the fans so they will get no sympathy for their losses whatsoever

Just waiting for Bridget's reply.

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TheMortensenFinal Posted on 21/04/2017 12:19

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Out of interest, COYP, what should they be doing?
They've raised thousands for charity but holding gala dinners and such, they've had a presence at every home and away game for the last two season, organised three massive public demonstrations and spoken to local MP's and other nation groups both political and non and have been at the leading edge for calls for football governance reform.
You'd get bored of reading that every week though.
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kieronjames1 Posted on 21/04/2017 12:21

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
[rle] just a weirdo frightened their comfort blanket might slip, pity some haven't noticed that blanket is suffocating the club [V]
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phil007tangerine Posted on 21/04/2017 12:24

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Superb article once again [^]

BST have an excellent writer on their team, very impressive.
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seasider12000 Posted on 21/04/2017 12:40

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Well said BST. Let the snipers fire their blanks from behind their keyboards sad weirdos the lot of them.

I just wish that the light would start getting brighter every passing day.
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BUDGIES_BUDGIE Posted on 21/04/2017 12:41

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Good summary of where we're at the moment and although preaching to the converted on here (Not you Bridget) it's worth acknowledging the Gazette for publishing the BST column to the wider community and not just the AVFTT bubble. Missed an opportunity to publicise JD3 though.[^]
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Blackpool_Rox Posted on 21/04/2017 12:41

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
[^]
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Keglersuper Posted on 21/04/2017 12:42

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
can you post something we don't already know
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bfcpete Posted on 21/04/2017 12:43

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
A very focussed and concise summary. The bottom line though is that either VB or another still needs to want to and has to have the resources to acquire the club (lock,stock and barrel - not just the football side) from the Os. Clearly, if VB wins he is in a much stronger position to do so.
Of course the Os could simply ignore the article or dismiss it as 'fake news'!
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Dennis_The_Menace Posted on 21/04/2017 12:45

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Bring back Karl's column [:D]
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TwelveAngryMen Posted on 21/04/2017 12:49

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Kegler these columns are as Budgie says aimed at a wider audience than those who post on here who ( for the most part ) are reasonably well-informed
I'm not sure a BST column has ever told me something I didn't already know - and I wouldn't expect it to
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todayistheday Posted on 21/04/2017 12:49

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Good article. tyranny LoL
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Don_K_Lasher Posted on 21/04/2017 14:05

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
I've just read that again, surely that article should be submitted to a wider National forum?
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tangerinewizard Posted on 21/04/2017 14:14

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Excellent piece of work, as always by BST.
Shared on Facebook[^]

[:o)]out
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brazilseasider Posted on 21/04/2017 14:17

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Thanks as usual to BST Top stuff! UTP! OO! ASAP!
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LASHINGtheLAMB Posted on 21/04/2017 14:29

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Superb summary, what do you say Bridget?
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ribble Posted on 21/04/2017 14:58

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Great piece. [^]
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martonmosser Posted on 21/04/2017 15:17

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Wonder why Bridgey isn't commenting on this one.......come on coward boy, lets be having you [cr]
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thefutureistangerine Posted on 21/04/2017 15:29

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Excellent stuff bst[^] the final 2 paras in particular a very poignant.

Unfortunately those without shame will not take note.
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Dennis_The_Menace Posted on 21/04/2017 19:54

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Not like Bridget to not comment on BST's column [8D]
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Don_K_Lasher Posted on 21/04/2017 22:58

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
I've been collared twice in the pub with mates asking whether I'd read that layer in the Gazette.

Great piece[^]
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BigDaveBamber2 Posted on 22/04/2017 00:27

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Another succinct and grown up appraisal of the situation. BST continue to maintain a truthful and honest line.

This should be printed and handed out to every single person still going to Bloomfield Rd so that they might wake up and help rid the club of the Oystons sooner rather than later ... However the club has been damaged beyond repair ... so it's merely a matter of time ...
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Fast_Fourier_Transformation Posted on 22/04/2017 00:48

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
I know Aero is a Technical Author, could he be assisting BST with their publications....
Whoever it is, is pretty good [^]
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chesterbfc Posted on 22/04/2017 05:11

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
[B)] a great summary,let,s all hope!!!
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YarmouthSeasider Posted on 22/04/2017 08:03

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
I can only add to the other comments, great read, I hope VB rips the Oyston money making machine apart.
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NightshiftGrafter Posted on 22/04/2017 08:36

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Excellent article 10/10.
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BadaBing Posted on 22/04/2017 08:57
Edited On: 22/04/2017 09:04
Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
...and still no response from the 🔔end avftb [:O]


Mind you, he is probably already at Bloomfield Rd, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the Mushrooms have another unforgettable match day experience.
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Dennis_The_Menace Posted on 22/04/2017 11:08

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
Bump[^]
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FedoraExplorer Posted on 23/04/2017 10:31

Light At The End Of The Tunnel? - BST Gazette column
When was the last time that Blackpool made a loss before the PL season out of interest?
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