Karl Oyston: We shouldn’t be in this position

Blackpool boss Jose Riga with chairman Karl Oyston
Blackpool boss Jose Riga with chairman Karl Oyston
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Writing exclusively in The Gazette, chairman Oyston gives his take on the problems of Saturday and recent weeks, speaks out on wider football issues and explains why he feels it is ‘perverse’ to label Blackpool a crisis club...

Blackpool FC shouldn’t be in the position we find ourselves in at the moment and Saturday’s situation at the City Ground was both regrettable and avoidable.

But I’ll start by making one thing clear, our secretary Chris Hough will take absolutely no responsibility for what happened.

I’ve seen plenty of criticism levelled at him since the game at the weekend, but he was under instruction from me not to play anyone who wasn’t properly registered.

The fact is that since the manager started work we’ve wasted several weeks on things we shouldn’t have for a number of reasons.

That’s what caused the situation we had on Saturday.

It was always important we hit the ground running with our preparations for the season and we didn’t do that.

We wasted far too much time chasing targets we would never ever be able to recruit. In many cases, there were illegal requests from agents which would have meant us breaking tax and football rules. We are not prepared to conduct our business in that way.

There’s no other way of doing things than doing them properly, and I’ll continue to stick to doing what I believe is for the long-term benefit of Blackpool FC.

Several players who said at the start of the summer that they wouldn’t talk to us unless we offered them £10,000 a week are now calling us saying they will accept £3,000 a week.

To save £350,000 in one deal by waiting is a price worth paying.

Last season we had a squad in place which didn’t work out, for whatever reason. As a result, we didn’t want to keep the majority of those players and we let them go.

Having to do such a massive rebuild was a major problem.

It’s not ideal, but it’s not a case of cause and blame – we just had to do things right.

As for Saturday, here are the facts.

Jose Miguel Cubero needs a work permit, which we’ve had to apply for. It’s not a simple process. It takes time and is totally outside our control. We can’t speed it up in any way.

International clearance for Joan Oriol is exactly the same. Hopefully he will be available for Saturday, if not tonight.

On Saturday morning we had to make sure we had the people in place with the proper registration.

Celtic have been reinstated into the Champions League because Legia Warsaw fielded an ineligible player. That goes to show that these things have to be done properly.

The situation with Ishmael Miller was slightly different, the Football League required clarification on something which meant he missed the deadline.

While it wasn’t ideal to be in the situation we found ourselves on Saturday, the season is 46 games long and so it’s important we do things right.

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It’s been interesting to read reports about the club over recent weeks, especially the ones which refer to us as a ‘crisis club’.

Yes, we find ourselves behind in terms of preparation and recruitment for the new season, but I find it perverse that we are described as in crisis.

Over 60 clubs in the Football League have been into administration, dumped huge amounts of debts on to their community, not paid tax and acted irresponsibly. Yet we are called the club in crisis!

If we’d have spent every penny we’d ever made and were in major debt, we wouldn’t be newsworthy!

And it’s for that reason that such reports don’t affect me or my family.

Obviously they don’t help the business but we have no control over what is written.

I’ll never bow to any pressure, so it’s a total waste of time.

Despite all the problems we’ve encountered so far, I do think we will have a positive season. We certainly shouldn’t be favourites for relegation.

We have an excellent coach, who is clearly an excellent tactician.

We now need to get all our football business conducted as quickly as possible and in as positive a way as we can.

Once the dust settles and we have our squad in place, I’ve no doubt the manager will organise them well.

How people can say we are relegation certainties before we have our squad in place is beyond me.

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I’m pleased to say I’ll be on the Football League’s board again representing the Championship.

It’s the third time I have been elected and I really enjoy it.

There’s so much wrong in football and that’s what initially made me stand for election in League One.

Many of the issues have been solved now due to us having such a strong leader in Lord Brian Mawhinney.

Whatever your political views, there’s no doubt he’s had a fantastic grounding in politics and you could tell that from the way he operated.

We now have Greg Clarke, who is probably one of the finest economic minds I’ve ever come across.

He’s preached since he took over about avoiding the Armageddon football was heading towards, and he has been proved absolutely right.

The Championship is now sitting with a billion pound debt and is haemorrhaging money. Financial Fair Play will bring things to a head with the possibility of clubs being hit with a transfer embargo.

It’s also great to see some progress being made at Coventry City. It was insane that their fans were having to travel all the way to Northampton to watch their team. Only the fans were suffering but thanks to a massive efforts from their Stakeholders they are now heading towards a resolution.