Oyston defends corner delays

Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston
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KARL Oyston says he can’t understand why the delayed opening of the south-east corner at Bloomfield Road is an issue for some fans.

Half of the east stand has remained closed all season as a safety measure while the new corner is built, meaning the ground is operating at 3,000 below capacity.

The work was supposed to be finished by Christmas but has taken longer than planned leading to questions from some supporters about when the project will be finished.

However, Pool chairman Oyston insists he is unconcerned.

Oyston said: “It is going along within acceptable parameters. If it is an issue for anyone, then quite why is beyond me.

“We would have preferred better and quicker progress, but we are not unduly concerned and on the whole I think the job is now going to plan and to schedule.

“Any problems we had we’ve overcome and we are moving to complete the stand as quickly as we possibly can.

“It will be a lovely addition to the stadium and it will obviously mean we can get the other half of the east stand back in operation.

“I am not sure whether those 3,500 extra seats will be filled with the current demand we’ve got.

But I remain hopeful we will fill them if the team is doing well because the atmosphere is very important to us.”

Asked for a new finishing date, the chairman responded: “It will be done as soon as it is possible to get it done. The problem with saying it will be done on a certain date is that you then hand someone a massive stick to club you round the back of the head with.

“I will get the project finished as soon as physically possible because that is in the club’s interest. We always act in the club’s interest.”

When the corner is complete, the capacity will be more than 16,000 with Pool supporters on all four sides of the ground.However, Pool crowds haven’t reached such levels on a regular basis since the start of the 1970s. The completion of the corner will also enable the club to open a new hotel within the Jimmy Armfield Stand.

Oyston added: “The whole thing will be a fantastic addition to the area and the hotel will be a good addition to the town. It will be a massive step forward for us.

“Our facilities will then match most other clubs. We will have different tiers of hospitality on offer and offers for families, which is something we’ve been short of. It will be nice to improve the facilities for all supporters.”