Some Blackpool supporters have already reacted angrily in anticipation of the FA announcement that chairman Karl Oyston is to be banned from all football activity for six weeks.
The FA delayed confirming the punishment after yesterday’s lengthy Wembley hearing into Oyston’s five misconduct charges, though Gazette sources indicated that the chairman faces a heavy fine and six-week ban, which would not include a ban from Bloomfield Road and would not come into force for four weeks.
Many Pool supporters opposed to the Oyston regime were expecting a longer ban, though the six-week suspension would match the punishment meted out to the former Wigan chairman Dave Whelan in December, when he was charged by the FA with making racist comments.
After The Gazette’s Will Watt broke news of Oyston’s expected punishment yesterday, some fans expressed anger on The Gazette’s website and social media, questioning how a ban from football activity can be policed if the chairman is not to be barred from the stadium.
The Gazette understands the FA will not seek to exclude Oyston from Bloomfield Road because it also serves as his base for other, non-football business.
Oyston, 47, has admitted to five breaches of FA rules. He was charged in March with “abusive and/or insulting words, with reference to disability” in a text message exchange with supporter Stephen Smith last year.
Oyston initially denied the charges and challenged them as “unlawful”, claiming the texts were private and had occurred outside business hours in response to unsolicited contact.
But Oyston’s appeal was dismissed by an arbitral tribunal on May 29, resulting in yesterday’s disciplinaryhearing.
FA rule E3 is the same one Whelan breached late last year. He accepted a charge of improper conduct following his comments about Jewish and Chinese people and was suspended from all football activity for six weeks and fined £50,000. He was also ordered to undertake a mandatory education programme.
Oyston’s text row with Smith occurred after the chairman’s mobile number had been posted on social media.
The chairman made a public apology for his texts, in which he called Smith a “retard” and told him to “enjoy your special needs day out”, via a statement on the club’s website last Christmas.