Blackpool warn of further fan legal action

Empty seats at a recent home game as many fans turn their back on the club
Empty seats at a recent home game as many fans turn their back on the club
Have your say

Blackpool FC have warned they will continue to take legal action against supporters if needed.

After weeks of silence surrounding cases against a number of supporters, a club statement revealed they have ‘several further cases pending against other individuals and a national newspaper.’

Earlier this week 67-year-old Frank Knight agreed to pay £20,000 in damages to the Oyston family while Stephen Sharpe and former Blackpool Supporters’ Trust chairman Tim Fielding – were forced into similar action.

A fund was set-up to pay Mr Knight’s costs, reaching the initial £20,000 target in just over three days, attracting more than 1,000 contributions from around the world.

Another fan, David Ragozzino, appeared in court earlier this year as part of an ongoing legal dispute with the club and the Oystons, while legal papers were served on fans’ forum Back Henry Street, in February.

And in a statement, Blackpool FC said they were ‘reluctant’ to take the action, but warned they will again.

It read: “Reluctantly, the company has been compelled to take action against a number of individuals and organisations following online postings or articles that contained vile lies and abuse about the club, its directors and players.

“To date, three settlements have been agreed with several further cases pending against other individuals and a national newspaper.”

“Any payments from court or agreed settlements will be anonymously distributed to Fylde and North West based charities.

“The rationale of this policy is to avoid the adverse reaction towards such charities that accept the donations, as was the case when the club donated the first settlement to a leading, vibrant and forward thinking charity in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

“The latest settlement of £20,000 will be paid over four years in equal instalments, with the charities set to benefit as and when the money is received by the club.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the club, directors, management staff and players would far prefer not to take any defamation action against any individual or organisation, but must continue to take action where necessary to combat the false, misleading stories and lies that are being perpetuated.”

The club has endured a turbulent season, on and off the pitch, which has seen a variety of protests against the Oystons’ running of the club.

Many are expected to protest before and during the Seasiders’ final home game of the season against Huddersfield on May 2nd.