League One Lowdown: Blackpool

Last updated : 13 July 2019 By Jim Bonner

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1887

Owner: Simon Sadler

Last Season: League One - 10th

Nicknames: Tangerines, Seasiders

Rivals: Preston North End

Major Honours

FA Cup: 1953

Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Blackpool: Easter Monday, April 13th (3pm)

Blackpool vs Portsmouth: Saturday, August 31st (3pm)

Blackpool: A brief history

Blackpool were formed in 1887 through a breakaway club of the local St. John's FC and joined the Second Division in 1896. The club won its only league silverware by winning Division Two in 1930 but their first foray in the top tier lasted only three years.

The 1950's proved to be Blackpool's most successful decade as they won the FA Cup in 1953 by beating Bolton in the famous "Matthews Final" and the same year saw four Tangerines players in the England squad. In 1956 Blackpool finished as runners-up to Manchester United in Division One.

Blackpool's recent history was a sorry tale of woe that could almost match Pompey's recent decline. The Seasiders were promoted to the Premier League in 2010 under Ian Holloway but were relegated after one season and then, following a play-off final defeat to West Ham in 2012, Holloway left and some poor managerial appointments and even worse ownership decisions by the Oystons saw Blackpool relegated twice in consecutive seasons.

The Oystons refused to budge despite fan protests as Blackpool begun the 2016/2017 in the bottom tier but a shrewd appointment in Gary Bowyer meant the club made an immediate return to League One after beating Exeter in the League Two play-off final. 

The Oystons were finally ousted for good this year, with Blackpool fan Simon Spicer buying 96.2% of the club after the Oystons were found guilty of illegitimate stripping of its assets and were forced to pay millions in compensation to the companies they owed.

The Manager: Simon Grayson

As a player, Grayson is mainly remembered as a defender for Leicester and Aston Villa in the 90's before moving onto Blackburn and then Blackpool, where he was made manager in 2005 having previously coached the reserves.

The Tangerines were promoted into the Championship in 2007 under his management and that attracted attention from Leeds, who prised him away from Bloomfield Road in 2008. He left in 2012 having taken the Yorkshire side to the second tier and also repeated this feat with Huddersfield in 2012 and Preston in 2014.

Grayson's last two managerial appointments haven't gone quite so well as he was unable to work his magic at Sunderland or Bradford when they were in crisis but he's now back at a place where he is fondly remembered after Terry McPhillips stepped down in the close season.

The Ground: Bloomfield Road (Capacity: 16,750 - Away: 1,500)

Bloomfield Road is located not far from the seaside and there are plenty of pubs for people to go to pre-match. The exterior of the stadium shows that most of it has been renovated in recent years.

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The outside of the stadium also has a statue dedicated to Stan Mortensen, one of the English game's greatest ever players and a Blackpool legend to boot. The away end is named after him.

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Once Pompey fans have made their way through the turnstiles and the narrow concourse of the Stan Mortensen Stand, they will see a similar stand in the Jimmy Armfield Stand. This picture was taken not too long before kick off and not many more fans turned up due to the supporters' boycott of the club whilst the Oystons were in charge.

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To the left is the virtually empty East Stand. If Pompey sell out their allocation in their part of the Mortensen Stand, they can also be seated in part of this one.

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The Stanley Matthews Stand is where most of the home supporters are, along with the Oystons who oversee their club with much contempt, it seems.

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Overall, Blackpool is more about a weekend away than the football itself and whilst Bloomfield Road is an adequate ground, there's nothing special about it and it's devoid of any atmosphere whilst the boycott was understandably in place.