Blackpool Supporters’ Trust insist Oyston meeting was worthwhile

Owen Oyston on Saturday
Owen Oyston on Saturday
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Blackpool Supporters’ Trust have defended their decision to invite Owen Oyston to a public meeting but admit it hasn’t changed anything.

More than 400 crammed into the Hilton Hotel on Saturday as Blackpool FC’s owner addressed fans for more than an hour.

Very few questions were properly answered as Oyston was repeatedly heckled and fans had their say on the running of the club.

But BST chairman Steve Rowland insisted the exercise was worthwhile. He told The Gazette: “It wasn’t a waste of time, although I don’t think we necessarily took any steps forward.

“It was disappointing that Owen didn’t offer anything new to us – no plans for the future or signs of change.

“That said, we have no regrets about the meeting. It was something we had to do as a trust and something I’m glad we did.”

After some fans took the microphone to express their dismay at the Oystons’ running of the club and to call for Owen’s son Karl to be sacked as chairman, Rowland said: “I hope Owen went away with an idea of just how strong the feelings are about the club at the moment.

“When I met him ahead of the meeting, I stressed just how serious this situation is and I’m not sure he believed me.

“Hopefully he has an idea of just how bad things are now. He seems to think decent results will bring everyone back – that’s really not the case.

“Owen was keen to talk about the past a lot, which was a shame. We fans want to hear about the future and their plans going forward, not what they’ve done in the past.

“He appeared unwilling to address the issues around the club. Our position still stands – they have to leave or put the club up for sale.”

Saturday’s event followed the unsuccessful attempts by Blackpool Councillor Tony Williams to bring the owners and supporters’ groups together around a table.

Coun. Williams praised Owen Oyston for addressing the fans but hit out at chairman Karl.

He said: “Owen spoke well and tried to defend the financial issues that had been raised.

“He also passionately confirmed his continued commitment to the club.

“He was on a hiding to nothing but was brave enough to face a committed crowd, unlike the blatant and continued cowardice of his son Karl, who has hidden behind a barrage of legal attacks against fans and a war of arrogant posturing.

“If Karl was half the man his father was, he would graciously walk away from the club and let the healing begin.

“His continued self-indulgent fight against the fans will kill off the club his father claims to love, and will sully the Oyston name both in the town and in the history of football forever.”