A full transcript of the statement Gordon issued and read out by the BST in support of Blackpool FC fans at the recent Judgement Day 2 protest (30th April):
Now is the time for supporters to be given a proper and meaningful say in the running of their local football clubs - fans like Blackpool’s, who are the heartbeat of their local club.
That’s why I backed and sponsored a Bill in Parliament set out by my colleague Clive Efford on Football Governance and Supporters Participation.
A Bill that followed on from the Labour Party’s pledge at last year’s election to give accredited fan groups the right to buy up to 10% of the club’s shares when a club changes ownership, and to elect and remove up to 25% of the club’s board.
Whilst the Government have been slow to acknowledge Clive’s bill, there is nothing stopping the owners at Bloomfield Road to take up these proposals voluntarily and I would ask them to seriously consider doing this.
This is something we urgently need if we are to resolve the ongoing problems and gap between the owners and supporters at the club. The status quo cannot continue!
As I have said before and I will say again, football clubs are more than just a business - they are hubs at the heart of their local communities and have the potential to make an enormous difference to people’s lives.
I have seen at first hand the excellent work done by organisations such as the Blackpool Community Trust, who continue to inspire and empower young people in the activities they do – like the Supporters Trust, I want this to be able to continue to happen in the years ahead.
But the owners must also now meet with the BST and other groups, get around the table and come together under the chairmanship of an independent chair so these differences and division can be resolved.
It will be difficult but only until this happens can the club begin to move in the right direction once again.