FA branded ‘weak’ over Oyston ban

Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston
  • Oyston banned for six weeks and fined £40,000
  • Text messages branded supporter Stephen Smith a ‘retard’
  • Smith calls FA punishment ‘weak natured’ and an ‘insult to people with disabilities’
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The fan on the receiving end of abusive text messages from Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has branded his punishment by the FA as a ‘weak natured response’.

The FA confirmed today that Oyston will be banned from all football activity for six weeks - commencing on July 8.

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith

Blackpool’s chairman has been sanctioned for five breaches of aggravated misconduct after sending abusive and insulting text messages, with references to disability, to a Blackpool FC supporter in November last year.

In the messages he referred to Seasiders fan Stephen Smith as a ‘retard’ and told him to enjoy his ‘special needs day out’.

The Blackpool chairman has since made a public apology for his remarks.

In addition to the ban he has been fined £40,000 and told he must attend a mandatory education session by October.

It exposes the prehistoric nature of the organisation and how far removed they are from modern football

Stephen Smith

The ban means Oyston will not be able to carry out any activity as chairman, including prevention of his attendance at any Blackpool FC match during the period, either competitive or friendlies.

He will be permitted in the ground at other times but will not be permitted to enter the stadium for a period starting two hours prior to kick-off until two hours following the end of the match. T

here is no order that requires Mr Oyston to dispose of his equity in the club or resign as a director.

Mr Smith today told The Gazette he believed the punishment did not go far enough.

Blackpool fans have been protesting over Oyston's running of the club

Blackpool fans have been protesting over Oyston's running of the club

He said: “It’s a weak natured response from the FA.

“It exposes the prehistoric nature of the organisation and how far removed they are from modern football.

“It is an insult to people with disabilities and to every Blackpool fan.”

Mr Smith was staggered Oyston’s punishment was less significant than that handed down to former Wigan chairman Dave Whelan over racist remarks he made.

“The £40,000 fine is less than Dave Whelan got for one offence relation to racist remarks.

“This is the punishment for five aggravated breaches of FA rules, the worst kind - how can the punishment be less?”

Pool’s chairman has been warned about his future conduct.

He has the right to appeal the decision.