And so it begins ......
By Editor
Wednesday 13 Feb 2019 18:58:00
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It's hard to comprehend what has happened since Judgement Day. Elections on both sides of the pond, Brexit, terrorist atrocities, Royal weddings and births, World Cup, Olympics, deaths of club legends, a relegation, a promotion, three managers and over a hundred players through the doors at Bloomfield Road. When those fans (and a mobility scooter) forced the abandonment of the Huddersfield game in 2015, they surely can't have expected when they walked out of the ground, it would be nearly four years until they returned. The judgement by Justice Marcus Smith to appoint a receiver to retrieve monies owed to Valeri Belokon is a massive step forward to those fans waiting to return, however when they do go back now seems to be the burning question.

There has always been this idea of a utopian return by supporters to Bloomfield Road. A sea of tangerine walking down Bloomfield Road with Valeri Belokon held aloft and an effigy of Owen Oyston burning in the background. The turnstiles would click, the beer would be flowing, the pies would taste sumptious and Blackpool would win 10-0 with a resurgent crowd raising the roof. Of course we all know the turnstiles won't work, the beer will be flat, the pies will be cold and we'll lose 1-0 to a dodgy referee decision in the 90th minute - that is what being a Blackpool fan is all about. However, before we get to any of that, there needs to be an agreement on when fans return. A dribs and drabs return would be anti-climatic and deeply disappointing and having sat it out for so long, there needs to be an agreement on when fans will set foot back inside Bloomfield Road. That expectancy that the attendance will get to five figures, that some of the wrongs of the last four years can be put right and the coming together of familiar faces can only be achieved with one final united front.

What the conditions of return will be may vary from person to person. Even a call to arms by the Supporters Trust might be ignored by those who want every trace of Oyston gone, all members of the FPG banned and microphones inserted up the backsides of those who worked throughout, however any return would always come with a few hiccups and the bigger picture has to be the removal of the owners. Once BST have the necessary assurances from the receivers that all is in place, the money through the turnstiles will go to the club and that we can all walk through the light at the end of a long tunnel, then the general consensus seems to be we should all return. What will happen at that point remains to be seen. Points deductions, new owners and the future are all out of fan's hands. The only influence we can have is on the attendance figures and that could start as early as the home game against Oxford United.

For anyone of a certain age, the Oyston era is all that they will have known. It came with it's massive highs and it's even deeper lows. For those who are even younger, Bloomfield Road has been a no go area for much of their life. From the young to the old, from those who've boycotted to those who've attended, from the families and friends split by loyalties to those passive fans who've only enjoyed the big games, if ever a club needed a clean slate it's Blackpool FC. You can't change what happened yesterday, but we can all shape what happens tomorrow.

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