Blackpool Supporters Trust have described claims made by Owen Oyston as “extraordinary” and “farcical” after he officially rejected their bid to take control of the club.
The Seasiders owner issued a statement over the weekend, saying it would be “irresponsible” of him to accept the Trust’s offer.
Oyston, who received the BST bid in July, claims he did not receive satisfactory answers to questions he posed to the fan group.
In a letter to the Trust, Oyston said: “I am very disappointed after giving you extended deadlines twice that you have failed to respond to the questions which, if you were serious, you would have dealt with responsibly and comprehensively.
“I believe that if you were left to run the club it would go to the wall because you do not have any money or the experience necessary to support the club in its moment of need.
“It would be irresponsible of me to simply hand this over to you as it is clear to any independent observer that you could not operate it successfully.
“From the many discussions I have had with large numbers of fans, it is clear that they have seen how I have been able to support the club through tough times and know I am in a position to do so in the future.
“They have implored me not to hand over the cash and assets to you.”
BST have hit back, insisting a comprehensive reply to Oyston’s questions was hand-delivered at the end of September.
Christine Seddon, BST’s spokesperson, told The Gazette: “What was a surprise to us was his suggestion we didn’t answer the 10 questions.
“We answered the questions very thoroughly and got a lot of legal and professional advice.
“Owen’s claims were extraordinary really. It was a hugely disappointing statement, one which we felt was disrespectful and inaccurate.”
BST’s offer would have seen them hand clubs assets back to the Oyston family, including the Travelodge hotel land near the stadium, and write off £3m in outstanding loans to Oyston-owned businesses along with the £7m debt to club president Valeri Belokon.
But importantly for Oyston, the offer involved no cash. He added: “The proposal that you put to me, which the press referred to as a £23m hostile bid and which you, both in your letter and publicly, have stated is a £16m bid, is as you have now admitted no bid at all, but an invitation for me to give you all the assets and cash without you producing one penny of new money.
“In short, you are asking me to give you all the cash and assets and you have not even answered the basic questions I have to put to you.”
Protests against the Oyston’s continued at Bury on Saturday, with fans chanting against the owners throughout the 4-3 defeat.
But Oyston was quick to defend himself, adding: “I conclude by asking you and the members of BST to get behind the club, the manager and the team, and support them.
“I know there will be disappointments ahead. However, I really believe that we can get back to winning ways and return to the top flight.
“For my part, I am dedicating my life to achieving the success that we all want.”
BST were less than impressed with the response. Seddon added: “It’s totally farcical for him to suggest he’s the best person to run Blackpool FC.
“At Bury on Saturday, you’d struggle to find anyone who thinks the Oystons should remain.
“They are all extraordinary statements.”