Pool chairman on Premier League

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
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KARL Oyston says relations between the Seasiders and the Premier League remain good, despite the club being hit with a controversial £25,000 fine.

Pool ended up paying the fine – imposed after Ian Holloway made 10 changes at Aston Villa earlier in the season – because they were fearful that an unsuccessful appeal may lead to further punishments.

Oyston remains unhappy the club was fined in the first place, but says he doesn’t hold any grudges against the law-makers.

“The Premier League has got a job to do to enforce the regulations,” said the chairman.

“They have massive input from Sky, and I think they do a very good job really in promoting what is the best league in the world. I’ve no complaints with the Premier League.

“I’m not sure if there is any more focus on us, rather than the big clubs – I don’t necessarily hold with that conspiracy theory.

“But what I do think is that, because the Premier League have perhaps been bitten by one or two clubs in the past, not complying with regulations and taking slightly obscure decisions, I would say they will focus on newer members more than existing members, both in rule compliance and this sort of thing.”

What does seem puzzling is that Arsenal made eight changes for a Premier League game at Wigan at the end of December, but weren’t punished by the Premier League.

Asked if the big clubs were treated differently, Oyston said: “I don’t know. What I do know is that we had the least time to prepare out of every club in the Premier League this season, so we bought a lot of players in at the death, because that is the only way we could conduct the business this summer.

“That meant it took our players longer to adapt to our style of play, and assimilate into the club.

“And that is another reason why the sort of wholesale changes took place at Aston Villa, because it took us a while to get everyone geared up for the way we do things.

“Maybe some of the better prepared clubs wouldn’t have a stronger case of defence, because they’ve had their players longer and know all about them.

“However I absolutely support any manager – Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger – in their use of their 25-man squad and the under 21-year-old players who don’t form part of that squad.

“They should be free to manage and pick whatever team they want.”

Pool didn’t make any permanent signings in January, utilising the loan market instead.

They tabled bids for several players, but weren’t successful with any – missing out on Adam Hammill, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Peterborough duo George Boyd and Craig Mackail-Smith.

“It is harder to buy players in the Premier League in terms of you ring up and people think they will add a few noughts on the price,” said Oyston.

“I don’t blame them for that, but there is always that battle.

“Also in January, some players have five or six months left on their contract, so we think we’ll be able to do a deal with the club, give them a sensible fee and then deal with the player.

“But it often doesn’t get to that stage because clubs hold out for a lot of money in the hope we are desperate.

“Basically January is not a good time to do business – that is the over-riding message.

“It is a desperation time to do business for players and clubs.

“The better-run clubs don’t tend to deal during that month.

“It probably wouldn’t be a sad thing if there wasn’t a January transfer window, quite frankly.”