Oyston brushes off fans’ stadium listing

Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium and (below) chairman Karl Oyston.
Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium and (below) chairman Karl Oyston.
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The chairman of Blackpool FC has dismissed an historic listing of Bloomfield Road as “meaningless”.

The club’s stadium became the first building in the town to be secured as an Asset of Community Value when Blackpool Council approved an application proposed by Seasiders Independent Supporters Association (SISA).

Blackpool's chairman Karl Oyston

Blackpool's chairman Karl Oyston

SISA’s application under the Localism Act of 2011 was the first of its kind to be submitted to the authority and will ensure Bloomfield Road cannot be sold without six weeks’ notice first being given to interested parties and the council and giving potential buyers the chance to put together a community bid to buy the building.

However, Karl Oyston, chairman of the Bloomfield Road club, said the status makes no difference.

He said: “It’s absolutely meaningless, in every sense of the word.

“The club isn’t for sale and is never likely to be for sale, nor is the stadium.

“If it were, the only thing now is we have to notify the council.

“It makes no difference to us, not one bit.

“If you are being charitable it’s a nice bit of legislation.

“But we are not bound to accept any offer.

“Even the highest.

“It’s a waste of time for us.”

SISA’s committee reacted with joy to the decision and hailed it as a “historic step”.

Tim Fielding, chairman, said: “This is the first such application has been submitted to Blackpool Council and a significant step for SISA and everyone who supports or cares about this great club.

“Our ground and team are an integral part of our community, football has been played on that site for 126 years and this decision should help to ensure that Bloomfield Road remains at the heart of sporting entertainment and endeavour in the town for future generations.

“Our football club is a massive part of the town’s identity and now, with this historic decision, it now has the honour of becoming the first site in Blackpool to be accepted for registration as an Asset of Community Value.”

Coun John Jones, ward councillor for Bloomfield Road, added: “I’m pleased that Bloomfield Road has been made an asset of community value.

“While it’s impossible to say whether its listing will ever have any practical implication for the club or the stadium, it’s a positive symbolic gesture that will give comfort to fans and helps to further cement the club’s importance to the town.”

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