League One Lowdown: Blackpool

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1887

Owner: Owen Oyston

Last Season: League One - 12th

Nicknames: Tangerines, Seasiders

Rivals: Preston North End

Major Honours

FA Cup: 1953

Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Blackpool: Saturday, January 12th (3pm)

Blackpool vs Portsmouth: Saturday, August 11th (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 is 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 still refuse 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 Manager: Gary Bowyer

Bowyer's playing career didn't last long as he had to retire at the age of 26 due to injury. He immediately went into management at Carshalton Athletic before becoming a youth coach at Derby County and then Blackburn Rovers.

Bowyer was appointed as caretaker manager of Rovers when Venky's sacked Henning Berg in 2012. He returned to his normal duties the following season but soon took the job again when Michael Appleton was sacked in 2013 and results under his guidance were good enough for him to get the job permanently.

Despite his respectable record, Bowyer was sacked in November 2015 and was out of the game until Blackpool hired him in the summer following the Tangerines' relegation. He then guided Blackpool back to League One at the first attempt.

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.


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.


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 are in charge.


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.


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.


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 is understandably in place.