First monthly SLO Gazette column of the new season

SLO_BFC

Well-known member
Wasn’t that a great way to end July! Blackpool back again in early Championship action at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, with a classy new kit, a new (OK, returning) manager and three useful points in the bag. And then on Sunday, England’s women winning this country’s first major football trophy since 1966, a joyous occasion without any of the ugly overtones that sometimes take the shine off England games. Well done, Lionesses.

Earlier in the month, as part of a national tour to coincide with the UEFA Women’s Euros, acclaimed young playwright and actress Hannah Kumari brought her one-woman play ‘ENG-ER-LAND’ to Blackpool Football Club. Hannah’s father is Scottish (he used to take her to watch Rangers) and her mother is Indian. She fell in love with football as a teenager, then did a degree in Theatre and now as a playwright and performer, with ‘ENG-ER-LAND’ she has brought both of those passions together.

After seeing supposed football fans acting in a very aggressive and anti-social way at Wembley couple of years ago, Hannah felt sad and angry that we are still in this position in the 2020s, and was compelled to reflect on her own experiences at football matches both as a mixed-raced teenager growing up in the 90s, and now as a woman. Written during lockdown, the play didn’t shy away from tackling themes of racism, identity politics, the idea of Englishness, sexism in the stands – but for those Blackpool fans who went to see it, ‘ENG-ER-LAND’ was also great entertainment, celebrating the joy of the beautiful game whilst confronting some big issues.

It’s a pity more people didn’t get to see it as it was a great conversation starter at a time when what had been a “man’s game” for so long is starting to seriously address girls’ and women’s chances to play football; and clubs are looking to be more inclusive when it comes to female supporters and the match day experience, including welcoming women fan groups

I’d like to think that, as a family club, our fan base rates inclusivity and respect highly among its core values and that we have no significant issues here. I’m not aware of sexism or discrimination against female supporters but I’m not complacent either. If you’re a woman and you feel there are things the club could be doing, or doing better to improve the quality of the match day experience for female supporters, please get in touch (see below for contact details).

In the wake of the Lionesses’ success and the upsurge in interest in girls playing football, it’s brilliant that Blackpool FC Community Trust has been awarded an FA Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre Licence for the next three seasons, offering talented Blackpool and Fylde girl footballers aged eight to sixteen access to high quality training and coaching right here in the town (when previously they would have gone to Liverpool or Manchester).

If you wish to contact me for any reason to do with supporter issues or have queries or suggestions, feel free to do so by email: slo@blackpoolfc.co.uk or message me: @BFCSLO on Facebook or Twitter – it’s what I’m here for. UTMP!

Steve Rowland, SLO
 

JJpool

Well-known member
Who knew an SLO update could go woke. No me neither.
Not a lot in that article that interests or excites me.....

I'd like to hear more about tangible improvements to the men's game, matchday experience, whats been fed back to the club, ways we can improve the atmosphere even more, get more fans in etc.

But maybe thats just me or maybe not every one of them is announced by the SLO.
 

Philbfctrois

Well-known member
Not a lot in that article that interests or excites me.....

I'd like to hear more about tangible improvements to the men's game, matchday experience, whats been fed back to the club, ways we can improve the atmosphere even more, get more fans in etc.

But maybe thats just me or maybe not every one of them is announced by the SLO.
Yep bizarre statement if I'm honest
 

Lala

Well-known member
Sounds good and apt to me. A license to give talented girls rhe opportunity to access high quality coaching in Blackpool gets a massive 👍 from me.

Well done Blackpool FC community trust for making headway with regards moving towards more inclusivity in the game and taking another step away from the outdated sexual divisions of old.
 

Thatseasider

Well-known member
Yep bizarre statement if I'm honest
Utterly bizarre, the only thing that relates to us is the snippet about the BFC community trust and that’s been communicated through their and the clubs social media channels all week.

Struggling to see what the point of this was as non of that is in the SLO’s remit and just comes across as a bit of a personal point of view.

The irony of the sign off, ‘it’s what I’m here for’. 😂, yeh not sure you’re here for any of this mate.

Not the first time he’s gone off piste though.
 

TKL_Seasider

Well-known member
Wasn’t that a great way to end July! Blackpool back again in early Championship action at Bloomfield Road on Saturday, with a classy new kit, a new (OK, returning) manager and three useful points in the bag. And then on Sunday, England’s women winning this country’s first major football trophy since 1966, a joyous occasion without any of the ugly overtones that sometimes take the shine off England games. Well done, Lionesses.

Earlier in the month, as part of a national tour to coincide with the UEFA Women’s Euros, acclaimed young playwright and actress Hannah Kumari brought her one-woman play ‘ENG-ER-LAND’ to Blackpool Football Club. Hannah’s father is Scottish (he used to take her to watch Rangers) and her mother is Indian. She fell in love with football as a teenager, then did a degree in Theatre and now as a playwright and performer, with ‘ENG-ER-LAND’ she has brought both of those passions together.

After seeing supposed football fans acting in a very aggressive and anti-social way at Wembley couple of years ago, Hannah felt sad and angry that we are still in this position in the 2020s, and was compelled to reflect on her own experiences at football matches both as a mixed-raced teenager growing up in the 90s, and now as a woman. Written during lockdown, the play didn’t shy away from tackling themes of racism, identity politics, the idea of Englishness, sexism in the stands – but for those Blackpool fans who went to see it, ‘ENG-ER-LAND’ was also great entertainment, celebrating the joy of the beautiful game whilst confronting some big issues.

It’s a pity more people didn’t get to see it as it was a great conversation starter at a time when what had been a “man’s game” for so long is starting to seriously address girls’ and women’s chances to play football; and clubs are looking to be more inclusive when it comes to female supporters and the match day experience, including welcoming women fan groups

I’d like to think that, as a family club, our fan base rates inclusivity and respect highly among its core values and that we have no significant issues here. I’m not aware of sexism or discrimination against female supporters but I’m not complacent either. If you’re a woman and you feel there are things the club could be doing, or doing better to improve the quality of the match day experience for female supporters, please get in touch (see below for contact details).

In the wake of the Lionesses’ success and the upsurge in interest in girls playing football, it’s brilliant that Blackpool FC Community Trust has been awarded an FA Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre Licence for the next three seasons, offering talented Blackpool and Fylde girl footballers aged eight to sixteen access to high quality training and coaching right here in the town (when previously they would have gone to Liverpool or Manchester).

If you wish to contact me for any reason to do with supporter issues or have queries or suggestions, feel free to do so by email: slo@blackpoolfc.co.uk or message me: @BFCSLO on Facebook or Twitter – it’s what I’m here for. UTMP!

Steve Rowland, SLO
Very good piece, Steve and best of all it’s triggered the board snowflakes ❄️. Well done!
 

BWseasider

Well-known member
Yep bizarre statement if I'm honest

Phil has somone hacked into your account?? You’re always saying how we should sell out the ground and get more people in on match day. I’m sure the SLO was just following your lead and trying to appeal to 51% of the population that is underrepresented within our stadium. Thought you would have welcomed this innovative approach!

Seriously though, the SLO should try and represent and engage with a broad spectrum of fans, if he just deals with the same old issues that one demographic discuss, he could be missing opportunities to engage and increase interest from other demographics and stifling growth. I think it’s reasonable for the SLO to do this from time to time, it doesn’t mean he’s neglecting us more “traditional” fans. He can do both.
 

Goforgoal

Well-known member
Not a lot in that article that interests or excites me.....

I'd like to hear more about tangible improvements to the men's game, matchday experience, whats been fed back to the club, ways we can improve the atmosphere even more, get more fans in etc.

But maybe thats just me or maybe not every one of them is announced by the SLO.
It’s not just you, I was labouring under the illusion that was the role of an SLO. If not they should change his title to something more appropriate, say woke liaison officer.
 

voyeur

Well-known member
Not a lot in that article that interests or excites me.....

I'd like to hear more about tangible improvements to the men's game, matchday experience, whats been fed back to the club, ways we can improve the atmosphere even more, get more fans in etc.

But maybe thats just me or maybe not every one of them is announced by the SLO.
Not an SLOs job to sort out the men's game or build the fan base!

Seems a good thing to promote non trad engagement with non trad fans. And women into football is highly topical, a good time to promote it. Might improve the atmosphere and the fan base if we get more females in the north too. Seems extremely unbalanced at present. 😆
 

SLO_BFC

Well-known member
I only get 500 words once a month for the Gazette column. It seemed entirely reasonable (with the back-drop of the Euros and the new season commencing) to pitch it as I did, and it's entirely within my remit. I also write these pieces mindful that the Gazette audience isn't made up of avid AVFTT readers, so they are aimed at a wider demographic. If you follow my SM feeds on FB and Twitter you'd know I regularly cover other initiatives from the Club. I also stated: "If you wish to contact me for any reason to do with supporter issues or have queries or suggestions, feel free to do so." No one need feel disenfranchised. I can't say fairer than that. UTMP! 🍊 ⚽🧡
 

JJpool

Well-known member
Not an SLOs job to sort out the men's game or build the fan base!

Seems a good thing to promote non trad engagement with non trad fans. And women into football is highly topical, a good time to promote it. Might improve the atmosphere and the fan base if we get more females in the north too. Seems extremely unbalanced at present. 😆
Most things mentioned seem like nice side notes.

I fed back ages ago about previous purchase history and people missing out for big games.

I presume this was fed back but what was the outcome? Can locals use a form of ID as suggested to get in?

The big games are the biggest draw and the times when most new or casuals will want to attend. If we have barriers to entry then what do they do? We have to be able to let them in to grow.

This was asked ages ago, I understand its the SLO's task to pass that on and maybe the club to decide but I've not heard there's been a solution?

Just an example of what I'd like to hear.
 

voyeur

Well-known member
Most things mentioned seem like nice side notes.

I fed back ages ago about previous purchase history and people missing out for big games.

I presume this was fed back but what was the outcome? Can locals use a form of ID as suggested to get in?

The big games are the biggest draw and the times when most new or casuals will want to attend. If we have barriers to entry then what do they do? We have to be able to let them in to grow.

This was asked ages ago, I understand its the SLO's task to pass that on and maybe the club to decide but I've not heard there's been a solution?

Just an example of what I'd like to hear.
I dont deal with the specifics. 😉

Maybe chase those up with the SLO.
 

Lala

Well-known member
I only get 500 words once a month for the Gazette column. It seemed entirely reasonable (with the back-drop of the Euros and the new season commencing) to pitch it as I did, and it's entirely within my remit. I also write these pieces mindful that the Gazette audience isn't made up of avid AVFTT readers, so they are aimed at a wider demographic. If you follow my SM feeds on FB and Twitter you'd know I regularly cover other initiatives from the Club. I also stated: "If you wish to contact me for any reason to do with supporter issues or have queries or suggestions, feel free to do so." No one need feel disenfranchised. I can't say fairer than that. UTMP! 🍊 ⚽🧡
It is entirely reasonable.

Maybe in a few years time we will be celebrating an avftt’ers daughter or granddaughter becoming part of the National womens squad 👍

Keeping up with the times ⚽
 

Steamgun

Well-known member
Blackpool FC Community Trust has been awarded an FA Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre Licence for the next three seasons, offering talented Blackpool and Fylde girl footballers aged eight to sixteen access to high quality training and coaching right here in the town (when previously they would have gone to Liverpool or Manchester).

Am I reading this wrong? Have the BFC Girls not received quality coaching since their inception 14 or 15 years ago??
 

SLO_BFC

Well-known member
Am I reading this wrong? Have the BFC Girls not received quality coaching since their inception 14 or 15 years ago??
Yes Steamgun, you're reading this wrong. It's not a BFC Girls thing. It's an FA Emerging Talent Centre. It will work with grassroots clubs and schools in the area to identify upcoming talent and for those girls selected will offer a raft of free training, coaching, health and education sessions, plus competitive games against other ETCs to improve chances for local young women to progress in the game.
 

Lala

Well-known member
Yes Steamgun, you're reading this wrong. It's not a BFC Girls thing. It's an FA Emerging Talent Centre. It will work with grassroots clubs and schools in the area to identify upcoming talent and for those girls selected will offer a raft of free training, coaching, health and education sessions, plus competitive games against other ETCs to improve chances for local young women to progress in the game.
Brilliant 👍
 

Steamgun

Well-known member
Yes Steamgun, you're reading this wrong. It's not a BFC Girls thing. It's an FA Emerging Talent Centre. It will work with grassroots clubs and schools in the area to identify upcoming talent and for those girls selected will offer a raft of free training, coaching, health and education sessions, plus competitive games against other ETCs to improve chances for local young women to progress in the game.
Thanks Steve
 

SLO_BFC

Well-known member
Hi Steve, @SLO_BFC

Was the issue ever resolved in my post above? (20)

I dont recall ever seeing a satisfactory outcome?
Hi JJ. This concern was certainly relayed back to the Club and I was sure it had been addressed. I'll try and recap from memory. Come back to me by email if you still have concerns over the issue: with a capacity of 16k (approx) and ST sales of 8.5k (approx) there are 4k (approx) match day tickets available to non ST Blackpool fans, assuming no home fans in the East Stand (and that is an ongoing discussion). The Club introduced its Membership scheme this season to partly address the issue you raised of non-ST holders getting tickets. for big games. However the plain fact is that unless/until capacity at BR is increased (and FYI the average home gate last season was 14,365), then for the 'biggest draw' games, demand will possibly exceed supply.
 

foggy

Well-known member
I for one am shocked a supporters liaison officer is encouraging supporters to get in touch if they are facing issues that could exclude them from supporting the club. My day is ruined and I've written a letter to the Gazette
 

JJpool

Well-known member
Hi JJ. This concern was certainly relayed back to the Club and I was sure it had been addressed. I'll try and recap from memory. Come back to me by email if you still have concerns over the issue: with a capacity of 16k (approx) and ST sales of 8.5k (approx) there are 4k (approx) match day tickets available to non ST Blackpool fans, assuming no home fans in the East Stand (and that is an ongoing discussion). The Club introduced its Membership scheme this season to partly address the issue you raised of non-ST holders getting tickets. for big games. However the plain fact is that unless/until capacity at BR is increased (and FYI the average home gate last season was 14,365), then for the 'biggest draw' games, demand will possibly exceed supply.
Thanks for the reply.

However, memberships won't override previous purchase history will it? Otherwise away fans desperate to get in would just buy one, so not sure how that solves the issue.

Capacity is limited but we rarely sell out.
If the east was available like against the nobbers, but with more than 800, in a big game many fans maybe who haven't been before may want to go, as the big games are the biggest draw.

Surely ID proving you're local along with a utility bill or something would work too?

It’s about allowing the new fans to attend for the big games and currently if they haven't bought before, they aren't getting in. Surely that isn't optimal?

The biggest games are all previous purchase and if we can't capitalise on when new fans want to come it's a poor do.
 

Goforgoal

Well-known member

Why is it woke ? It fits in nicely with communicating with and informing the fans with regards decisions made and initiatives taken.
It’s mostly pontificating nonsense of minority interest. The performance was adequately advertised anyone who was interested would attend, if not they wouldn’t. I would suggest the numbers in attendance were indicative of general interest.
 

Lala

Well-known member
It’s mostly pontificating nonsense of minority interest. The performance was adequately advertised anyone who was interested would attend, if not they wouldn’t. I would suggest the numbers in attendance were indicative of general interest.
What performance ? Apologies you‘ve lost me a little ….
 

Lala

Well-known member
Gfg is referring to the 'one woman play' the SLO writes about in paragraphs two, three and four. (Written at same time as above post)
Argh ok.
The play is just a detail behind the real substance of promoting women and girls into the sport. That’s the key issue I took from the piece ,coupled with the initiative the club, via the trust, has engaged in to make that happen.
Sorry for the delay in replying, am up-cycling a table and chairs at the same time as chatting ( mens work I know 😉).
 

Sooty59

Well-known member
Argh ok.
The play is just a detail behind the real substance of promoting women and girls into the sport. That’s the key issue I took from the piece ,coupled with the initiative the club, via the trust, has engaged in to make that happen.
Sorry for the delay in replying, am up-cycling a table and chairs at the same time as chatting ( mens work I know 😉).
So women can multi task too 😂
 
Top