Date: 28th January 2017 at 8:26am
Written by:

When Blackburn and Blackpool meet in the FA Cup fourth round at Ewood Park on Saturday both sets of fans will unite in protest against the clubs’ owners.

The rival fans will united in a ‘shoulder to shoulder’ protest ahead of this cup tie. This was organised by the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust and Tangerine Knights along with the Blackburn Rovers Action Ground – who also back a boycott – and a protest will continue outside Ewood Park during the game.

When commenting Blackpool chairman Carl Oyston said the Oyston family have ‘no alternative’ but to continue ownership at Bloomfield Road as there’s no other options.

Adding fans had to ‘be careful what they wished for’ when quoted by Sky Sports as saying.

‘I’ll never give up that’s for certain. It’s more if there is an alternative and there is no alternative as things stand. They have got to be careful what they wish for. In certain cases I’ve seen alternatives come along in football many times and it’s probably got a lot, lot worse than it was before change came.’

He went on to say the fans had ‘their issues’ but were within their rights to protest in ‘an appropriate way’ but didn’t say anything further.

‘I’m not far off being at the helm for 20 years so I think that is probably commitment in itself, certainly in the face of some of the things that have gone on. Obviously both sets of fans have got their issues and they are free to protest in an appropriate way. I really make no comment other than that.’

Deputy chair of the Blackpool Supporters’ Club Christine Seddon added.

‘Most Blackpool fans, the majority, are boycotting every week not just cup games. That’s an incredibly hard decision for lifelong fans to take. But we feel it is the only option we have. We have to starve the owners of revenue because that is the only thing they understand. I am afraid Bloomfield Road is like a mausoleum these days but we are absolutely determined we will get our football club back.’

This cup-tie will take of course take Gary Bowyer back to his former club Blackburn with him saying his only focus is on managing Blackpool and ensuring his players focused – as he had at Rovers – on the job in hand.

‘It is a challenge but you quickly realise you can’t control anything like that. The main aim is getting the players focused and prepared to play, do their jobs, and that is exactly what we will be doing. In both clubs I have managed to do that, concentrate on the job, do what we can try to produce performances.’

His counterpart at Blackburn Owen Coyle added.

‘I’ve always said we, on the football side of it, can only control what is controllable for you. People have the right to protest but we have to take control of what we can and that’s football.’

Written and originally posted on Vital Blackpool.

Join The Vital Debate