‘Truce’ councillor holds talks with Pool chairman

Karl Oyston

Karl Oyston

A town hall leader fighting for the future of Blackpool Football Club has held talks with chairman Karl Oyston in a bid to restart negotiations with fans groups.

A town hall leader fighting for the future of Blackpool Football Club has held talks with chairman Karl Oyston in a bid to restart negotiations with fans groups.

Coun Tony Williams, who has called for a truce between the club’s owners and fans, had a meeting with Oyston on Thursday.

Four separate groups had been invited to ‘peace talks’ with the club, planned for Thursday, but all indicated they wouldn’t attend.

One of them, Blackpool Supporters Trust (pictured at a town hall demo in January), had previously indicated it did want to hold talks and find a solution to the club’s problems, but only in the right circumstances and not on the terms offered.

A Gazette poll this week revealed 90 per cent of fans who took part won’t be buying a season ticket for 2016/17.

Coun Williams said: “I had a long and in -depth meeting with Karl Oyston on Thursday afternoon and we covered a lot of ground in regard to the history of the current dispute.

“I presented Mr Oyston with three proposals that had been identified at a previous meeting I chaired with the fans association.

“One of the proposals which referred to a transparent forward investment plan was dismissed immediately by the BFC chairman but two other proposals that might build a more proactive involvement with fan groups have some merit and we agreed that they could be discussed at a future meeting with all sides.

“I have reported back to Blackpool Supporters Trust and they will now poll their members to see if they feel they would be willing to attend this meeting based on Mr Oyston’s comments.

“The meeting would be held at Blackpool Football Club.

“I was under no illusion of the depth of bad feelings that the situation has incurred in Mr Oyston and there was some obvious bitterness in regard to some fans’ communications to him and his family.

“He admitted to me that he had also made mistakes.”

Mr Williams added he was concerned if a resolution can not be reached, it could spell an “ultimate” decline of the club.

But Steve Rowland, from Blackpool Supporters Trust, said: “We are surprised to hear we are now being offered what appears to be the exact meeting we voted against attending a couple of weeks ago.

“We would like to know if there are any concessions given to any of our requests we made.

“We will put things to our members at our meeting tomorrow.”