What a pivotal year 2019 has been in the history of Blackpool Football Club.
I remember watching from afar, back in March, when thousands of Blackpool fans came together again for the homecoming match against Southend United. It was a special moment that re-emphasised just how important Blackpool Football Club is to the town and wider community.
I was absolutely blown away seeing the images of families and friends being reunited inside Bloomfield Road and hearing that amazing atmosphere again. It was at that point, with the unwavering support of my own family and friends, that I decided to step up and become the Club’s custodian.
I always said that one day I would own the Club, and it was incredible when that finally became a reality in June.
Since then, we have had a real period of transition, yet still managed to improve and achieve so much off-the-pitch in such a short space of time – a new-look shop and ticket office, new retail systems, new online retail website, a modernised home dressing room, live feeds of matches on the concourse TVs and a re-brand centred around ‘Backing Blackpool’.
In terms of ‘Backing Blackpool’, we have had some fantastic support from Blackpool Council and many businesses, both locally and nationally, as we continue to build a community club alongside the fantastic work of the Community Trust, and work on numerous projects for the future.
On the pitch, we now have a good playing surface and hold ambitions to get back playing Championship football within the next couple of seasons. The team has made a promising start under the management of Simon Grayson and both he and I are now heading into our first full transfer window at the Club.
We also now have a strong recruitment department in place, led by Tommy Johnson, as well as the knowledge and expertise of our recently-appointed Chief Executive Ben Mansford.
While the January window can be difficult to do business in, compared to the summer, our aim is to continually improve the squad window-by-window. We’ve made one addition already and the intention is for more to follow.
As we now head into the second part of the season, I’d like to thank you all for your phenomenal support, both at home and away. It was amazing to see more than 1600 of you pack the stand at Tranmere in our final game of 2019. You really are that ‘12th man’ and we all appreciate your efforts. We’re all in this together and every single player in a tangerine shirt needs your support.
Here’s to 2020 and a bright, tangerine future.