Thursday, 8 September 2016

Glamour tie

Charlton head for Fleetwood Town on Saturday for a League One glamour tie. The CASC Trust has put on a special Rickshaw, but when I last heard there were a few seats left.

Fleetwood had the second lowest average attendance in League One last season: 3,308. (The wooden spoon went to Rochdale). The attendance was not surprising when one considers that the population of Fleetwood is 25,939 and there are other clubs nearby in Blackpool, Morecambe and Preston. AFC Fylde are an ambitious and well funded non-league side, another sign of the football vacuum created by the Oyston regime at Blackpool.

The town has struggled economically since the decline of the fishing fleet in the early 1970s. Three of its five wards fall into the five to ten per cent most deprived in England.

The club has been backed by energy entrepreneur and Fylde Coast native Andy Pilley. He has poured £10m into the club which entered the Football League in 2012-13. He has denied any interest in taking over from the Oystons at Blackpool (Fleetwood beat their rivals 1-0 in the Lancashire Cup this week).

Under experienced manager Uwe Rossler the Cod Army are riding high in League One and Charlton will find that they offer a tough test.

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