Ahead of our New Year’s Day away at Blackpool, @MattyCrichton spoke to Tangerine fan Tony @seasidersnews who answered our questions about our upcoming League One opponents.
Sunderland have only just come out of a difficult period under Ellis Short, whose recent neglect pushed us towards back to back relegations - It has been well publicised that Blackpool are having an ownership crisis, what exactly is going on?
When the 100 million windfall came to Blackpool FC in 2010 the future and a legacy for the club and community was a great possibility that we all hoped would take place unfortunately the owners of Blackpool FC had other ideas. The ideas being to asset strip that windfall for themselves and this was then proven to have happened by a high court judgement in November 2017.
Do you feel the ongoing debate surrounding the politics of the club is almost making the football results pointless?
In some respects, it is true that to many fans, sadly the results have become pointless. This may sound very harsh, but it just goes to show how deep the feeling of the fans is. We all want to get back to supporting our club, but this will not happen until the Oystons have gone.
Sunderland have around 7000 fans attending the match on New Year’s Day - do you think that will have an impact on the match due to the home boycott?
So, given that we know the owners will not invest in the club (we don't even have a proper training facility) most Blackpool fans have agreed not a penny more (NAPM) to the Oystons. We understand that Sunderland fans will want to support their team but not purchasing anything other than a match ticket will help build support for the boycott and the NAPM program.
Despite the ongoing controversy, you are sitting 8th in the League One table and have an upcoming FA Cup tie with Arsenal - would you say your manager is Terry McPhillips is doing a good job?
Yes, given the circumstances the manager and players are doing very well, and we can only wonder how much they could achieve with an owner willing to back them and with the supporters back in the ground.
Sunderland’s defence have struggled against strong physical forwards this season - do you think your top scorer Armand Gnanduillet will cause us some problems?
From what I have seen of Gnanduillet he is having a good season. He is scoring goals and I think he will be a handful for the Sunderland defence.
Results wise, December has been a rocky patch for Blackpool as you have only won once in your last five matches. Do you worry given your financial situation that your best players will look to move on in January?
I think that any Blackpool player given the opportunity to further their career will want to move on from Blackpool given the current circumstances.
The last time the two sides met was January 2011 in the Premier League. Sunderland won 2-1 in front of a packed 16,000 crowd at Bloomfield Road. Do you think that either Blackpool or Sunderland will ever return to the Premier League?
Sunderland will return to the Premier League within the near future, but Blackpool are unlikely to return in my lifetime. Although currently for me and most Blackpool fans returning to the Prem is not in our thoughts, we just want to be able to support a new owner of the club no matter the league we are competing in.
Lastly, if you had to give an honest opinion, what do you think the score will be at full time?
I seem to remember a lot of high scoring games for Blackpool on New Year’s Day, so I think a 2-2 would be my prediction.