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Karl Oyston interview - Part One

Karl Oyston hugs striker Charlie Adam after the Plya-off final. Below: With Ex-managers Michael Appleton and Ian Holloway.

Karl Oyston hugs striker Charlie Adam after the Plya-off final. Below: With Ex-managers Michael Appleton and Ian Holloway.

  • by William Watt
 

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston agreed to a meeting with the Blackpool Supporters Association and William Watt to talk about the current goings on at the club.

What’s the latest on the manager’s situation?

“We interviewed a manager yesterday, it was very encouraging and I feel we could work with him.

“We now have a 24-hour cooling off period for both parties to think about things, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Is finance an influence in your appointment?

“It’s not a case of us having a list and seeing who we can afford, we don’t work like that.

“The rate is the rate, we set the pay, we set the incentives and that’s that.

“We pay people based on results.

“It’s all about working with someone who wants to establish the right culture.

“It’s not about getting a manager who wants a million quid to take over, it’s about getting a manager who wants to build a successful football club.”

Could we have done more to keep Ian Holloway?

“I think sometimes managers run their course.

“Ian said to me on a number of occasions that we’d either have to change him, or change the entire squad.

“He was a motivational type manager, and the players could only hear the same rousing speech so many times.

“That was his view of his not mine.”

What do you make of the current pitch at Bloomfield Road?

“It’s a stick which is used to beat us with, and rightly so.

“The pitch is a shambles, we all think that.

“The pitch will be resolved as well as it can possibly be resolved.

“We all agree about that.

What will you do to resolve the pitch?

“We will do the best we can to improve it now, until the grass starts to grow again.

“When we get to the summer we’ll take the top few inches off and have the whole pitch re-laid.

“We already have quotes in for the work to be done.”

Are going to go ahead with a new training ground?

“Yes, we will be building a training ground on land the club already owns.

“We need 25 acres to do it properly. The plans included six or seven full-size pitches, an all weather pitch and an under heated pitch.

“The team spend 90 per cent of their working lives on the training ground, so we are working towards having a good facility which gives them to train, whatever the weather.

“There’s much more chance of us putting under soil heating in at the new training ground than we ever will at Bloomfield Road.

“But don’t delude yourself that having a new training ground will make any difference in attracting players, 
because it won’t.”

In 2010 you told The Gazette you want to build a training facility, here we are in 2013 and it appears we are no nearer. Is that a fair statement?

“I never put a timescale on things.

“Our serious intention is to build a training ground, and a good training ground.

“That’s what we want to achieve.

“I won’t allow anyone to use anything as a stick to beat us with, we will build a training ground, but we want to get it right.

“There are one or two pieces of the jigsaw which need to fall into place, then we’ll be ready to go.

“There are plans drawn up, and there has been serious steps forward.

“Affordability isn’t an issue.

“We want it to house the academy, our girls football and all our footballing interests.

“We know what we want, we own the land, we have had architects who have drawn up the plans.

“It’s just a case of getting it all into place now.

Do you appreciate the negative feeling among fans at the moment, and does it concern you?

“I’ve been at this club for 15 years now, and from day one we had a big list of issues and a big list of problems.

“We set about dealing with each other and prioritising them.

“We’ll always get the same fans, saying the same sort of things – it happens at every club, that’s the culture of football.

“It’s not a culture I can let affect my decision making process.

“I just have to get on with managing the business to the best of my ability.

“Since I got here I’ve had the same, people telling me they aren’t coming until there was a South Stand, I’m not coming until we get to the Championship, I’m not coming until we get to the Premier League.

“The list of demands from fans will never exhaust itself, no matter how successful we are, no matter what level we are at.

“We just have to keep tackling the problems and progressing the club, we are never done.

“We’ll keep ticking everything off the list, until the fans have nothing to moan about.

“But even then fans won’t be happy, that’s the way football fans are.

“There’s no cure to that, but that’s a good thing. There should always be pressure on us as a football club.”

Are you aware of the increasing anger towards you?

“When I took over, 15 years ago, people were marching around with coffins and parking tangerine cars on Bloomfield Road.

“Back then, to be fair, we had business threatening problems.

“Of course, we are aware of what people’s feelings are.

“If they honestly think we are happy with the state of the pitch, that we are happy with the speed of process in the manager’s search, then they are wrong, because we aren’t.

“We all want to do as well as we can, and to do better.”

Do you understand the anger?

“I’ll never get away from it, as I don’t say what people want to hear.

“A lot of football chairman have said what people want to hear – that’s not me.

“There’s always been an anti-Oyston vibe.

“There were banners on the bridges and people marching when I took over.

“The scale back then was far, far greater than now.

“Does anyone seriously think that whatever they do or say will make any difference to the way this club is run?

“Let me tell you, it will not.

“Some supporters here will never like me, they haven’t since the day I took over. That’s not a problem to me.

“It’s not something which I factor into any decision I ever make.

“I just try to make the best decision for this football club.

“And that’s why we’ve gone from the bottom of League Two to the Premier League.

“So don’t think we’ll react to fans pressure, because we won’t.

“But it’s all about opinions, everyone’s entitled to their view.

“I totally accept that the pitch is rubbish and that we lack stability.

“No-one’s happy with what’s going on at the moment, we are fed up, we really are.

“There are a lot of things we need to do to get things back on track, and we’ll do it.

“No amount of shouting, screaming and swearing will make me change.”

Do you want this club to go back to the Premier League?

“Of course I want us to get back to the Premier League.

“People used to say that I didn’t want the club to get promoted - it’s an absolute fallacy.

“Why would any club not want to be as good as it could be?

“We always want to progress, and in the 15 years I’ve been here, we’ve always progressed.

“We are in a definite blip at the moment, and have stability issues.

“We are rudderless at the moment.”

PICK UP A COPY OF WEDNESDAY’S GAZETTE FOR PART TWO.

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