Blackpool fans' group hopes end is in sight after year of frustration since court ruled against Oyston
It was on this day last year that Blackpool fans believed they were on the verge of regime change at the club after a High Court judge extraordinarily ordered Owen Oyston to pay Valeri Belokon Â£31.27m.
There were jubilant scenes of celebration outside the Rolls Building in London after what appeared to be a historic day for the club, which continues to be blighted by supporter unrest and a fans’ boycott.It was a huge sum of money that most supporters couldn’t have envisaged Justice Marcus Smith ordering the owner to pay to former director Belokon.But 12 months on, Oyston remains in situ at Bloomfield Road and much of the debt is still to be paid.While it appears Blackpool fans are no nearer to seeing Oyston depart, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust chair Christine Seddon remains optimistic the 84-year-old will relinquish control.“It has been a very frustrating 12 months, that’s for sure,” she said.“Anybody with any sense would have come to a proper negotiation and to a proper arrangement, for Owen’s own sake more than anything.“We all know about the interest that is racking up on a daily basis and the fact his assets are frozen.“It’s not doing him any good clinging on to this football club.“But from the fans’ perspective, we’re stuck. We’re piggy in the middle.“That’s why we’re so angry about the football authorities because we should be able to turn to them and say, ‘This is not right. We need your help’.“But we have absolutely nowhere to turn, which is why we’re having to do what we’re doing, which is boycotting, protesting and all the rest of it.“We should not be in this position and we should not be faced with these unpalatable decisions we have to keep making. It’s simply not fair, it’s not right.“But I can see an end in sight simply because logic tells me this situation cannot simply go on. Something has got to give soon.“I probably sound like a broken record because I’m always very optimistic but a man who owes so much money to a minority shareholder and is losing so much money on the football club cannot hang on to it forever. It’s an impossibility.“We just wish it was sooner rather than later.”BST plans to mark the anniversary of the court judgement with a vigil outside Bloomfield Road tonight.The club’s largest supporters’ group wants 163 supporters to gather outside the main entrance at 6.30pm, 163 being the number of pages in last year’s court judgement.Each person will be handed a page, which is intended to send out a clear message to the EFL that any evidence they require to take action themselves is there in black and white.Asked by The Gazette to comment on the ongoing situation, an EFL spokesman responded last night: “The EFL has endeavoured to provide the BST with as much information as we are able to do in answer to their queries over an extended period of time, both in correspondence and through face-to-face meetings as appropriate.“We also remain in regular dialogue with our member Club with the long-term aim being to instil some stability and return the focus of everyone associated with Blackpool FC to performances on the pitch, rather than on the activities off it.”