Village Hotels have announced that they will not be sponsoring Blackpool FC after the end of this season having met with the Supporter’s Trust and Tangerine Knights.
Village Hotels began their association with Blackpool FC at the start of the season as they were keen to support a local football team, however having seen an angry backlash from supporters about the deal which included fans cancelling memberships, they decided to meet with the Supporters Trust and Tangerine Knights to find a solution to the problem.
In a statement made by Village Hotels CEO Gary Davis, he said: ‘At Village Hotels, we support local football teams, professional, amateur and kids. Blackpool was one of many teams we supported. And in hindsight maybe it is something we should have avoided. But the shirt deal is done and we cannot turn the clock back. However, we have no intention of any other interaction with the club. We are a local hotel and are happy to host supporters meetings and help fans in any way we can. We are happy to commit future sponsorship to a new ownership.’
The Blackpool Supporters Trust and Tangerine Knights issued a joint statement and said: ‘The Village had been withheld from being listed on the boycott list pending the resolution of discussions with the company. Both the Trust and the Knights now advise fans to continue to show support for Village Urban Resorts and the services they offer.’
Adding: ‘Village, on their part, have made a number of generous offers to both the Trust, the Knights and the fan base. They will look to provide facilities for supporters` groups to hold meetings and fundraisers. Village are also looking to support both groups in a number of community based incentives for the benefit of fans and the local community.’
‘They have also offered a long term sponsorship deal of the club, but only when it is under new ownership and in particular if supporters are involved. Under the current contract with the club, Village have to fulfil the sponsorship agreement and their name cannot therefore be removed from this seasons official shirts.’
This just goes to show how much power fans do actually have. The Supporters Trust and Tangerine Knights have successfully managed to ally themselves alongside the shirt sponsors and get them on board with their cause of securing new ownership of Blackpool Football Club. Great work from all those involved.
It’s unclear how Karl Oyston and the club will respond to this news, if they do at all. Though this is just another example of how fans are essentially at war with the club’s ownership.