Blackpool FC: New chapter for the Tangerines

Recent life has been far from simple for Blackpool Football Club.

The Tangerines saw the heights of the Premier League just nine years ago, having been promoted under the famous arch of Wembley in 2010.

Since then the club has endured some dark times, including a spell in the bottom division of English football.

Problems away from the pitch had been hanging over the Seasiders for the best part of a decade due to the breakdown in relationship between the owners and the fans.

The future of the club looked seriously bleak, even for the most optimistic of fans.

However, since the Oystons were ousted in March, the boycott has ended and the Tangerines faithful have returned to Bloomfield Road to see their beloved club once more.

With Simon Grayson now at the helm, the club are looking for promotion back to the Championship for the first time since 2015.

Currently sitting in eighth with a stable plan to progress, the transformation from just six months ago has been monumental.

Chairwoman of Blackpool Supporters Club, Christine Seddon, is delighted with the change at the club.

She said: “The difference now to just six or seven months ago is just huge. There’s a real feel-good factor back at the club, Simon Sadler (the new owner) has come in and given the club a plan to progress.

“There was a lot of depression and anger amongst fans, supporters have gone from feeling ignored to actually feeling valued and part of the club.”

After the thrill of making it to the top flight, the Seasiders endured some difficult years under the Oyston regime.

Supporters boycotted the ground and held protests, frustrated by what they perceived as a lack of investment both on and off the pitch.

Sadler’s arrival in the summer has changed all that and, says Seddon, given fans a reason to be optimistic – even down to something so basic as where the players train.

“The club don’t really have a training ground but since the new owner came in there have been plans for a new state-of-the-art training facility,” added Seddon.

With the club on the rise again, fans are gearing up for Saturday’s FA Cup first round clash against neighbours, Morecambe. Blackpool have a rich history in the competition, having won the trophy in 1953.

Seddon said: “The FA Cup will always have a special place in the heart of Blackpool, with their history in it – but i think everyone’s just grateful for every game because now we have our club back.”