|pause for breath|
Written by basilrobbiereborn on Wednesday, 20th Feb 2019 15:51
Even by our standards, the last week or so has been momentous for Blackpool FC. It all kicked off in the High Court - where too much of our future has been determined in the last two years.
A club being placed in administration or Receivership is normally a cue for supporters to reach for the Valium. But Blackpool are no ordinary club, and for many of us this was actually the catalyst we have all craved. It was, at last, a chance to take the Oyston family out of the equation and deny them any place in the club's future.
What happens next is liable to be a daily drama for some time. The Receiver should be able to take full control of the club in the next few days, and faces a busy time. Not only do bank mandates have to be changed, there is plenty of work for the local locksmith, the accounts needs to be scrutinised, one Board of Directors have to be ushered out of the door and another appointed and - last but not least - the EFL will need some assurances about the club's ability to complete the season.
Hopefully those assurances will be reasonably easy to give. There is some comfort in that Valeri Belokon's legal representatives indicated in court that he would personally offer some security for the club through this hiatus period. This is of course an initiative based partly on the need to protect his own position. But there is a strong degree of philanthropy to it as well, which suggests that his affection for the club remains.
It does though serve to remind us that his own position re the Owners & Directors Test remains unresolved, and it is to be hoped that if he chooses to pursue his case with the EFL, that they will look at the way he has conducted himself, compare it with the behaviour of the Oystons and then ask themselves - who SHOULD we have disqualified?
It would be nice to see common sense prevail, but the EFL under Shaun Harvey have not displayed much of it, let alone the will to exercise it. He may be leaving, but he leaves behind a culture of prevarication, delay and unwillingness to tackle major problems in owner behaviour. These will not change overnight, and it seems that for BST, on the national stage at least, the fight for reform must go on.
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Letters from Wiltshire #28 by wessex_exile
It’s difficult to think about quite how to write this editorial, without appearing mawkish. On Sunday 17th February 671 people succumbed to coronavirus, with the 7-day average creeping just above 1,000 deaths. On that day, one of those was someone very dear to me, who died in Watford General Hospital of Covid-19 pneumonia. Idiots and conspiracy-theorists will tell you there’s no plague, or that masks infringe their civil liberties, or some other form of spurious non-science bullsh*t, so do me a favour – if they say this to you, please punch them on the f’cking nose for me, and say that’s from Wessex – thank you.
Letters from Wiltshire #27 by wessex_exile
Welcome to 2021, and hopefully a vaccine-driven start to a much better year for everyone – which as you can guess was going to be my introduction two weeks ago. From a selfish perspective, hopefully an improved year for the U’s as well that sees us cement at the very least a play-off spot, but why stop there – don’t mess around with the lottery of play-offs, go straight for it with automatic promotion (who am I kidding). First up in that quest is a tough match against Tranmere Rovers Cambridge United, and no longer with Chuck to help us out. Still, set up for Jevani to put one over on his former club.
Letters from Wiltshire #26 by wessex_exile
Well, after a piss-poor Xmas period so far for the U’s, culminating in the Roots Hall horror show on Boxing Day, let’s hope the U’s have burned off those festive calories and are raring to go. They’ll certainly have to be at their best against a Cheltenham side aiming to force their way into the automatic promotion places. In other news, we now finally have confirmation that there will be a trade deal in place with the EU once Brexit arrives in 2021. It remains to be seen whether it’s a good deal or not, and more to the point, who for, but at least it’s not the economic uncertainty of no-deal.
Letters from Wiltshire #25 by wessex_exile
A little earlier than usual, but as we approach the end of what has been a most difficult year for everyone, I’ll keep the introductory editorial brief, as I’m sure you will all be very busy in the coming days rescuing what you can from this pandemic-ravaged festive period. I simply wish you all peace on earth, goodwill to all (yes, even our South Essex cousins), and here’s to a happy, prosperous and most importantly healthy 2021 for us all.
Letters from Wiltshire #24 by wessex_exile
Welcome to our last match before Christmas. With South Essex going into Tier 3, by the time we take to the pitch at Roots Hall, it’ll be another behind-closed-doors match. With the Tier 3 boundary creeping inexorably closer, one wonders how long the JobServe will hold out and still be able to allow fans to attend. Robbie is doing all he can to make it possible for supporters to attend, and I confess I’m seriously considering our January 2nd match against Tranmere. In other news, I’m relieved to read that the FA will not take disciplinary action against Colchester United after a shameful minority chose to boo players and officials taking the knee, in the words of the EFL “[i]as they highlight the inequality and injustice experienced by the Black Community[/i]”. I noticed a tiny minority chose to boo at our mid-week match at the Abbey Stadium, but I was pleased to hear they were immediately drowned out by the remainder of the 2,000 cheering and applauding. I admit I’m a little anxious about today…