BST column: Oyston must change or go

Some fans in fancy dress at a recent game
Some fans in fancy dress at a recent game
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Saturday April 30 is being labelled Judgement Day 2 – the final home game of the season may be final home game in League One for some considerable time.

Many fans will see it as another opportunity to voice their disapproval of Karl Oyston’s running of the club. Last season he famously remarked “Judge me in May” and we did so.

This season, although he’s been more circumspect, as chairman he is still open to criticism after yet another disastrous season. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Owen Oyston is really the one who needs to put things right at Bloomfield Road.

If the fans are passing judgement on the custodianship of the club, then the majority shareholder and the man responsible for appointing Karl ought to be feeling the weight of the fans’ disappointment and disapproval.

It is Owen and not Karl who professes to be the lifelong Blackpool fan. It is Owen who, in response to BST’s bid for the club in the autumn, claimed that: “It would be irresponsible of me to simply hand this over to you as it is clear to any independent observer that you could not operate it successfully.”

And it is Owen who assured us just before Christmas that: “I really believe that we can get back to winning ways and return to the top flight. For my part, I am dedicating my life to achieving the success that we all want.”

The majority of fans are likely to agree it is the Oystons who could not – or would not - operate the club successfully, witness an under-equipped team struggling to escape a shameful second consecutive relegation in a two-thirds empty stadium.

What kind of legacy is Owen’s ownership of the club going to leave for the town?

So Judgement Day 2 is coming for Owen Oyston, yet it could also be a Day of Atonement for the owner.

If he is serious about not selling Blackpool FC, about working instead to achieve the success we all want, he could start by acting constructively to implement changes that would provide a positive legacy:

- End litigation against fans

- Appoint a new chairman

- Install a director of football/chief executive

- Donate a suitable sum (£11m?) to build a new east stand, the ‘Owen Oyston Stand’, incorporating all-weather disabled facilities

- Arrange state-of-the-art training facilities

- Fund a squad capable of winning promotion back to the top flight

They would be game-changing and life-changing moves.