Oyston: I love Blackpool so much I’ll never sell

Owen Oyston
Owen Oyston
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Owen Oyston says Blackpool FC isn’t for sale, insisting he “loves it too much to ever sell’.

In a rare interview, the owner confirmed his family will ignore calls from supporters for them to leave the club.

Oyston was the only member of the club’s board at Peterborough on Sunday, when a second consecutive relegation was confirmed, and was met as ever by “Oyston out” chants.

But he stressed: “It’s not for sale. It’s never really been for sale and I don’t want to sell it. I love it too much to sell it and I want to see it strong.”

The final home game of the past two seasons has been marked by huge protests and Oyston admitted: “It’s really upsetting. I love the fans and the football club. It’s my life.

“It’s upsetting when you know the facts and know you are being misrepresented and no-one wants to listen to your side of the story. They only want to hear the bad things.

“When you are doing badly on the pitch, there’s no PR in the world that’s going to get you popular. I’ve been taking flak from the fans for 27 years. I’ve taken all kinds of abuse and so have my family.

“We’ve never criticised it. We’ve defended their right to criticise us about the football.”

However, he defended his decision to take legal action against supporters, resulting in tens of thousands of pounds being awarded to his family in court settlements.

“Much of this criticism isn’t about football,” he said. “We are talking about allegations of criminality and allegations you would not believe, some you can’t repeat as they are so bad.

“I’m not complaining about any criticism of how we run the club. We’ve done some things badly wrong. We’ve picked bad managers and we got it wrong when we didn’t have enough players at the start of last season, but those are things we’ll learn from.”

The club released a statement on Monday promising to increase engagement with supporters, although it appears this will be done through the controversial Fans Progress Group.

Chairman Karl Oyston has been quoted as saying he will never co-operate with Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, but Owen says working with the fans will be crucial.

“We have to work together, the directors and the fans. If we don’t we will never get back to the Premier League. The fans are amazing. I love their passion,” he said.

“I’m asking the fans to come back and give us a chance to prove we can get it right. We need their support.”