|Not my fault? Are you sure?|
Written by Curryman on Thursday, 14th Aug 2014 22:53
The ongoing exasperation and indignation of the BFC fans shows no signs of ending following a summer of silence and then the usual broken promises and vacuous statements coming from the family spokesman in charge at Bloomfield Road. This has been followed up with what appears to be a regular column in the Blackpool Gazette, which began by blaming every person for the debacle of Nottingham Forest on everyone but himself. It is basically like a script from the Simpsons.
Despite saying that he wanted the supporters to have a club they would be proud of, (01/07/2009) and recently adding ‘this goes without saying, but recruitment has been our failing and needs to improve.’ (March 2013) We found ourselves in the intolerable position of having only eight players in place by late July, weeks before our first league game and then, as mentioned above, a panic to ensure enough players were registered for the first game away at Nottingham Forest.
What long term planning there is at Bloomfield Road appears to the uninitiated, like myself, to how much more of the lemon juice can we squeeze out of the rind for our family’s banquet before the whole thing goes rotten on us and has to be discarded. Long-term planning is common in any company, but when dealing with high-profile families who all want the best for themselves, there’s a tendency to emphasize the individual’s desires over organizational objectives and this is what appears to have happened to our beloved club.
Recently, at long last, the press have started to take notice of what is happening, and I can’t help but feel that once a few forensic examinations of the accounts and goings on at the club are carried out, things will begin to surface that could be both damaging to the family and damaging to our club.
Blackpool fans are usually quite passive and on the whole well behaved, it takes a lot to rankle them and even more to getting them to react. However, over the past six months or so it has been noticeable how the wind is changing in the rank and file, it is no longer just a few over exuberant youths who are protesting at the goings on within the club, the lack of investment, the callous disregard to the fans concerns and indeed the blatant dis-respect of those who have no other way to protest but at a game or outside. This has become endemic throughout the family and really shows the true colours of those in charge. What seems to be forgotten is that these good people who are held in total disregard, nay in contempt, by the family are not just fans, but customers.
So what should a customer want?
All companies should be aware of who can judge them and the customer is probably one of the largest sources of opinion any football club has and you can basically divide fans requirements into two basic categories, defined and implied.
(1) ‘Defined’ requirements, those which must be met by the delivered product or service often written in the contract or inferred to as such in the advertising and would probably include the following:
(a) Facilities provided (i.e. is the ground safe and up to standard, are the toilets clean etc);
(b) Cost and payments ( are the costs as it says in the advertising);
(c) Customer support ( is there a fans liaison officer as required by the Football League and does that person function);
(d) Response times to failure (a word now often used to describe our sad demise);
(e) Revolution taken as a positive and not as a negative (positive a revolutionary discovery or a new start, negative upset and angst).
(2) ‘Implied’ requirements, often understated, but which create an overall perception of the business in the eyes of the customer (the fan). The little things that show a club and its owners really care about their customer base. A little effort in this area can go a long way. We seem to have little or none of it, rather the opposite.
I can personally see no change happening anywhere in the future and I, for one, am concerned that things will deteriorate rather than improve. It is a common theme that when someone sees an Oyston Out sticker or hears the words sung or shouted their response is ‘Where would we be without them?’ My response to that is quite simple ‘where should we be with them in charge and why aren’t we where we should be?’
The sooner they depart and we face the unknown the better in my book. I fear for my beloved club with such a rich history and the nation’s second team just a few years back. I, for one will say, Blackpool FC is dead, long live Blackpool FC.
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