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Gordon sent open letter to the Football Supporters Federation and Blackpool Supporters Trust ahead of the Judgement Day 3 march prior to yesterday's game between Blackpool and Leyton Orient. You can read the letter in full below.

To the supporters of Blackpool Football Club and Leyton Orient Football Club,

I am sorry I can’t be with you in person today but I applaud supporters from both clubs and others uniting here in Blackpool to tell the FA and club owners that fans must have a more meaningful say in the running of their clubs.

In Parliament over the past two years as Blackpool South’s MP and also here in Blackpool directly I have been making that point directly that fans should be represented on football club boards and their supporter groups should be represented on the FA.

I was glad to sign the recent motion that was tabled in Parliament which highlighted the situation at Leyton Orient. It touched on the bigger issues that have played out here in Blackpool and at Bloomfield Road with the conflict between the fans and the owners.

Both Leyton and Blackpool fans are right to feel let down and frustrated. At last year’s protest here I said “now was the time for supporters to be given a proper and more meaningful say in the running of their local clubs”. It’s why I supported my colleague Labour MP Clive Efford and his proposals in Parliament to bring in legislation that would give groups like the Blackpool Supporters Trust and the Football Supporters Federation greater powers and influence on how their clubs is run.

It’s very disappointing that Ministers in Theresa May’s Government have failed to take up these proposals. But there was nothing to stop Blackpool’s owners taking up those proposals. They haven’t done so. Instead of recognising the Blackpool Supporters Trust at the table, they’ve self-selected fans reps – which is why both I and Jimmy Armfield, a football legend and civic hero in this town, refused to be associated with that move.

Both Blackpool and Leyton Orient supporters it seems to me have been let down by the Football Association as well. In February this year I highlighted our problems here at Bloomfield Road in a debate organised by Parliament criticising the FA. I told the debate covering football matters and the Minister that defamation and libel cases pursued against Blackpool’s supporters by the club’s owners had made the situation more difficult. But also to make the point again for supporters to be given greater powers and influence in the running of their local club. I said that football clubs are more than simply private assets – something which dozens of Blackpool fans who have written to me have underlined.

Blackpool FC’s proud history – from Stanley Matthews and the Coronation Year Cup Final running through to our Cinderella story through to Premiership status in 2010 – where along with thousands on the Prom, I cheered the winning team on its return home – shows our club and others deserves better.

I’ve also been a member of Parliament’s Supporters Group and followed up that debate with challenging the FA’s representatives on their failure to act. I repeated the need for them to take a lead and press clubs to get their supporter groups on board literally. I’ll continue to do so and support the legitimate demands of fans.

Good luck today in your dignified protest.

Gordon Marsden now Labour Party candidate for Blackpool South

Gordon's open letter to football supporters on Judgement Day 3 march

Gordon sent open letter to the Football Supporters Federation and Blackpool Supporters Trust ahead of the Judgement Day 3 march prior to yesterday's game between Blackpool and Leyton Orient. You...

Gordon has been off to a local Blackpool bookies for a flutter in aid of a worthy cause – in this case a visit to William Hill’s on Whitegate Drive in support of a charity event for the Bobby Moore Fund which supports research and trials for bowel cancer.Gordon_Marsden_MP_shop_visit.jpg

He was there for “Football Shirt Friday” which promoted William Hill’s nationwide sponsorship of the charity where employees and customers donated money to wear a club shirt of their choice wfor the day.

The £50 charity bet by Gordon was placed on Lancashire County Cricket Club to win the Division 1 County Championship at 7/1. It was a “win-win” situation – all winnings from the bet going to the Bobby Moore Fund if Lancashire win and a £50 donation if they don’t.

Gordon said: “It was good to have a flutter on Lancashire – especially since they’re back at the Blackpool Cricket Club on May 12th for a one day match, which is excellent for us and the club. But I was also pleased to show my support for the Bobby Moore Fund initiative.

“Watching him on TV leading England out to victory in the 66 World Cup final was a vivid childhood memory. He was such an iconic and glamorous figure from the 60s and his early death from this awful disease meant that I was very happy to support this charity drive to combat it.

“I was also pleased to have a chance to chat to staff and learn more about their responsible gambling initiative, including self-exclusion options, and on their own initiatives in the local community including working with the “Mereside MAFIA” project nearby supported by local councillors Luke Taylor and Adrian Hutton, which I’ve also backed to improve the recreational facilities on the estate.”

 

Gordon has flutter at local bookies in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund

Gordon has been off to a local Blackpool bookies for a flutter in aid of a worthy cause – in this case a visit to William Hill’s on Whitegate Drive...

Gordon has responded to the latest set of unemployment figures commenting that they did not match Theresa May’s rhetoric of “a Government working for everyone”.

He said: "The latest statistics show that we are the 13th worst area in the country for unemployment. At present 6.7% of people in Blackpool South are in receipt of JSA - way above the UK average of 2.6%. 

"The picture around youth unemployment is not much better with very little change from the last month with only five less people on JSA. 6.5% of all 18 to 24 year-olds locally are claiming JSA or not in work and claiming Universal Credit. This is compared to the North West average which sits at 3.6% and the national average of 2.9%.

"This is very disappointing and shows that Theresa May’s rhetoric about “a Government working for everyone” does not match the reality. They desperately lacks a plan for creating well paid and high skilled jobs and as a consequence, the living standards of people of all ages in Blackpool are worsening under the Tories."

 

Gordon responds to unemployment figures for March 2017

Gordon has responded to the latest set of unemployment figures commenting that they did not match Theresa May’s rhetoric of “a Government working for everyone”. He said: "The latest statistics show...

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