Gordon has written the following letter to the English Football League and the members of their Board, following the decision made by the High Court to put the club into receivership.
FAO Members of the EFL Board,
Implications of Blackpool Football Club going into receivership
You’ll be aware of the decision on Wednesday (13th February) made by Justice Marcus Smith at the High Court to put Blackpool FC into receivership. I believe this was an inevitable decision and is welcomed not least by many of our constituents and supporters of the club.
Fans now hope this can be the beginning of a new chapter for the club. I know from my frequent meetings with the Blackpool Supporters Trust (BST) and the range of other conversations around the town in recent years, how much the situation at Bloomfield Road has caused much anguish and sadness to so many people and continues to do so.
You may remember that I previously wrote last March to your former Chairman Ian Lenagan about the crisis that the divisions between the club’s owners and Blackpool supporters had created, including the sustained boycott at Bloomfield Road, which is of course in my constituency.
We have been told that the EFL Board will now be discussing the implications of the receivership decision at their next board meeting on 6th March. It has been said that the EFL may have discretion on the issue of whether to deduct points from the club or not. I want now therefore strongly to urge the EFL not to deduct 12 points off Blackpool as a result of the receivership decision.
It would be seen as an unhelpful act, not just by the Blackpool supporters, but also for the club’s hard working Manager Terry McPhillips, his coaching staff and the Blackpool FC players, who have done an excellent job in League One this season, against the legal backdrop, and indeed would be received with great disappointment across the town.
It is my understanding that such a penalty has previously only been considered in a situation where a club and its owners had benefitted unfairly from the way it has been run over the last few seasons. I would echo the comments made by Christine Seddon, the chair of the Supporters Trust that this has not been the case at Blackpool, where arguably the very opposite has been the case. It is very different to other league clubs like Portsmouth who had points deducted from them because they went into administration as a result of overspending.
Blackpool has a rich footballing pedigree with the iconic careers of players such as Stanley Matthews and Jimmy Armfield and that legacy roots the club in our local communities.
I urge you strongly, as the receivers get to work and there is much hope in the town for a brighter future at Bloomfield Road, not to handicap and add further to Blackpool FC’s burdens by deducting points in the formula suggested. Points deducted at this time could potentially jeopardize the club’s League One status, which Terry McPhillips and his players have worked so hard to maintain.
Gordon Marsden – Member of Parliament for Blackpool South