Preston councillor hits back after Blackpool FC social media outcry

Preston councillor John Swindells was today defiant over comments he made on Twitter about Blackpool fans.

John Swindells (Credit: www.preston.gov.uk)

Swindells, who is also a Preston North End supporter, appeared to mock Seasiders’ followers for the attendance at Saturday’s home game against Oxford.

The Labour councillor’s comments came after receiver Paul Cooper had taken control of the club last week, effectively signalling the end of Owen Oyston’s time in charge.

However, many Blackpool fans insisted that their boycott of home fixtures – including the Oxford clash – would continue until Cooper had full financial control of the club, which had not been completed by kick-off on Saturday.

Swindells’ tweets highlighted the attendance of 4,003, seemingly unaware of the ongoing boycott. He also described Bloomfield Road – where the Seasiders play – as ‘bombsite road’ and was ridiculed by both Blackpool and Preston North End fans.

Asked if he regrets his Twitter comments, Swindells was unapologetic.

He said: “People seem to get offended at other people being offended. It just seems to be the way of the world these days.

“I tweeted as a Preston fan and I’m not setting two different Twitter groups up to put two different slants on anything.”

On Twitter, Keith Kaye said: “No wonder Preston City Council is in such a mess. So called learned councillor that only sees a small part of the picture and ignores the full facts.”

James Butcher wrote: “As a huge PNE fan, not even funny….this isn’t even ‘banter’.”

And Christine Seddon, Chairman of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, said: “Do you pay this much attention in council meetings?”

The return of thousands of fans to Bloomfield Road is expected for the Seasiders’ next home game against Southend United on Saturday March 9.

Credit: Terry Robinson, Wikimedia Commons

In December, Swindells also caused controversy when he admitted he had not been in a high street shop for 18 months, despite his instrumental role in regenerating the city centre.