Despite what is looking increasingly like a nailed-on relegation, Blackpool at least have something that might raise spirits a little. As League One football looks increasingly more of a certainty for the 2015/16 season, Blackpool’s ledger books at least show a more positive side to the club with the figures for the financial year ending May 2014 bringing a more positive outlook to a club 17 points adrift of safety and entrenched firmly at the foot of the Championship table.
The released financial report (9th March 2015) showed that Blackpool had posted a pre-tax profit of £9.45m despite their woeful form and position in the table. The figure of £9.45m represents a 60% increase over 2013’s profits of £5.9m despite a drop in turnover for the same period from £22m (2013) to £18m (2014) or a fall of 18% in overall club turnover.
The reported reduction in club turnover was offset, to some degree, by the sale of Matt Phillips to Queens Park Rangers and also the fall in everyday expenditure such as player’s wages and transfer fees. Whatever happens to Blackpool at the end of the season, their fans can at least take a morsel of solace that their club is being run on a financially-sound basis.
I honestly didn’t mean to infuriate or poke fun at Blackpool’s state of affairs. A football club is a club first and foremost for the fans. It often stands at the centre of a community, mainly working class in origin, it appeals to fans like myself who grew up on housing estates in the early 1980s. I am a Leeds fan, hate me for that; I know what it is like to support a club where it becomes less about the football and more about the ‘rich man’s plaything’.
Blackpool have Oyston, Leeds had Bates; both it seems are/were cut from the same cloth. To them it is/was all about the development of the commercial aspects of the club, the building of boxes, the hotel developments rather than focusing on what really makes a club a club; the fans and its place in a community. I heartily applauded the joint Leeds/Blackpool protest in Preston at the Football League’s HQ – to be honest I would say Blackpool had a much better and more valid reason for being there.
I apologise if what I wrote came across as glib; that wasn’t my intention at all. Football is something that, like a lot of fans, I hold close to my heart. I despise the way that money has ruined it; how chasing profit has led to the beautiful game becoming ugly as profit rules above community. I don’t normally link to articles I have written elsewhere but I would like to on just this one occasion, just to show what I really think about the role of money in football and its corrupting influence. I’d also like to link to another article by Will Watt in the Blackpool Gazette, it is to him and all Blackpool fans like him that I would like to offer my sincerest apologies.