Blackpool, so soon after their fairytale season in the Premier League, have been relegated from the Championship, rock bottom of the table with a pathetic 25 points, and the ownership should take full responsibility for this calamity.
The club, two weeks before the start of this season, suffered a mass exodus of playing staff and had just eight outfield players on their books, including no goalkeeper. Though the then manager Jose Riga managed to assemble enough players for the start of the season, he could only name four substitutes for the first game of the campaign, and subsequently lost his job before the season's halfway mark, with Lee Clarke taking his place.
But both these managers have faced an impossible task, operating in a toxic club environment, where the owners seemingly relish playing pantomime villains, and seem hell bent on destroying this club from its foundations. Despite the financial windfall from their Premier League season, almost nothing has been reinvested into the club, and it has subsequently been allowed to free-fall.
The club's decline almost appears deliberate on the owner's part, and they seem to revel over their role in it. They recently took down a statue of club legend Stan Mortensen, a member of their FA Cup winning side, a much loved symbol for the fans, for no apparent reason. The owners' initially cited "security reasons" before local police quickly made a statement rubbishing this claim.
What's more, the owner drives around Blackpool with a license plate mocking the club and his role in its decline, and has engaged in various foul mouthed and public slagging matches with fans, using bad language and tones with people.
The Blackpool supporter's occupation of the pitch midway through the final game of the season is completely justified, and the Oyston family should be ashamed of themselves, though they don't seem to mind the hatred and vitriol levelled at them. Though the FA can do nothing about such blatantly negligent ownership, it is a disgrace they are able to cause such damage to a football club and it's supporters.
Blackpool's future is bleak, and few would be surprised if back-to-back relegations are to follow, with the owners seeming to be in it for the ride.
What makes this situation worse is that there is another up and coming Football League club playing their football just five miles away, Fleetwood Town. They have had back-to-back promotions in recent years, and are a club on the up. It is easy to see support quickly deserting Blackpool if this farce continues, and Fleetwood Town's rise continue.
The owner's reasons for this are baffling, and defy explanation, but they should be ashamed of themselves, though I doubt they are, and the biggest losers in this are the fans, who enjoyed the high of playing in the Premier League so recently. Sadly what has followed has been a nightmarish decline, the end of which no one can predict.
Blackpool fans, what do you think of the decline of your club? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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