Owen Oyston to hold shock public meeting with Blackpool fans

Owen Oyston

Owen Oyston

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Owen Oyston is to make the surprising step of facing Blackpool’s supporters on Saturday.

The club owner has agreed to attend an open meeting held by Blackpool Supporters’ Trust and answer fans’ questions.

It is the first time in more than 20 years Owen has faced a large group of fans and it comes as a major surprise.

BST chairman Steve Rowland said: “We regard this event as a small but positive step towards more transparent and democratic communication between the club and its supporters.

“To be honest I’m a little surprised he accepted. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.”

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust was founded four years ago as relations between Pool fans and the Oyston family broke down.

They have been vocal ever since in their attempts to force the owners to sell the club and tabled takeover proposals of their own a year ago.

Earlier this year BST voted to reject an invitation to meet with the owners because of the conditions imposed.

And with chairman Karl Oyston preferring to deal with the club’s favoured Fans Progress Group, BST have turned their attentions to owner Owen.

Saturday’s event is the product of a meeting last month between Owen Oyston and BST, and Rowland hopes it will lead to sensible talks.

He said: “I met with Owen recently to inform him of the change we want to see at Bloomfield Road.

“Our members wanted us to talk to the owners about their exit strategy and how we could see the club change hands.

“During that meeting we invited him to attend one of our open meetings and to our surprise he’s agreed to attend this weekend. He’s also agreed to answer all questions thrown his way.”

The event at the Hilton Hotel on North Promenade begins at 12.30pm and is open to the general public.

In recent years tensions have run high between the fans and the owners, with tempers sometimes boiling over.

But Rowland has called on supporters to take this chance to question Oyston in a sensible way.

He added: “I think we should respect the fact he’s agreed to do this,” said Rowland.

“While people may not agree with his answers, I hope everyone takes the chance to at least listen to what he has to say and take the chance to question him. Hopefully it will all be done in a civilised way.”