It has gone too far now. There is simply no coming back. Blackpool Football Club as we know it, are, and have been, slowly dying over the past two years.
During that time, there has been three managers, one (soon to be two) relegation(s), 50 defeats and over 70 players but one constant has remained – the Oyston family.
Blackpool is a club of proud history and tradition, and was the nation’s ‘second team’ during their one and only Premier League campaign. But that has all changed now.
Unless you have been living under a rock since June 2014, Blackpool are in dire straits. The fractious relationship between the club’s supporters and its owners has resulted in some nasty incidents, and I don’t aim to discuss them here.
The ‘Riga Revolution’ was over before it even began, and despite Owen Oyston telling us he believed Blackpool ‘can make the play-offs’ and Karl claiming that the club is the ‘envy of the Football League’, Blackpool were relegated from the Championship with the joint-lowest points total in its history.
This season, Blackpool are sleepwalking towards League Two as thousands of fans have stayed away from Bloomfield Road. It has become an ugly and toxic situation now.
However, struggling at the bottom of the league is not a new experience for Blackpool fans. During the 80s and 90s, and even when I first regularly going down to watch my hometown club in the early noughties, Pool have always fought against relegation in the bottom two tiers of English football.
But back then it was accepted. Every supporter knew we had little money, they knew survival was the reasonable expectation each season. And they also knew that whoever pulled on that tangerine shirt, regardless of their footballing ability, would be committed to the cause and be proud to represent Blackpool.
If we flash forward to the present day, that mentality and ethos has completely eroded. There is no passion, no identity, no hope, but a lorry load of money ready ‘for a rainy day’ as Karl once said. Well, there’s been a non-stop downpour at Blackpool for over 24 months now.
I understand and respect the opinions of the more traditional Blackpool supporters; the families who have had the same ritual for years on years and will ‘back the boys’ even in this darkest of times. But what I cannot fathom is this almost ignorant resistance to the facts. Surely enough is enough?
This might be hard for some people to accept, and it is certainly hard for me to write, but Blackpool Football Club needs to be destroyed for us fans to have it back. As our chairman eloquently told a fan via text message, ‘Operation Conference’ is well and truly up and running, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, either.
Look at Brighton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. They all had to fall so far to start again. The same thing is happening now at Bolton, Leeds and Charlton; three clubs steeped in tradition, but they are being destroyed and no-one is stopping it from happening.
If you read this and still don’t agree then you are either too ignorant to wake up and smell the coffee, or you can’t bear to accept what is happening to the club.
If your view is of the latter statement, then I ask, what do you currently see now when you look at Blackpool FC? What do this current regime, the players and staff, represent and mean to you?
In previous blogs, I have praised the work of the Tangerine Knights in organising effective protests and demonstrations, and this weekend (Saturday, April 30) they bring us Judgement Day 2.
#JD2 has been trending on social media – even James Corden has tweeted about it! Thousands of people are expected to come and join the march prior to the local derby against Wigan Athletic. Fans of other clubs have been urged to join and show their colours, regardless of what team they follow, to protest against the Oyston ownership.
I urge all football fans and people of the town to join in the protests. As Jock Stein once said ‘football is nothing without fans’. So let your voice be heard, it’s time for change.