BST statement on club bid snub

Blackpool Supporters Trust have their own Blackpool FC shirt for fans
Blackpool Supporters Trust have their own Blackpool FC shirt for fans
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Blackpool Supporters’ Trust issued a statement to The Gazette as their bid to buy Blackpool FC was ignored by the Oyston family.

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust has received no response from Owen Oyston to the letter of intent containing our £16m bid to buy his majority shareholding in Segesta Ltd (Blackpool FC). The deadline has passed without even the basic courtesy of a reply to our written offer.

This lack of response is disappointing but not in the least surprising. The current owners have made it their strategy never to deal with the supporters on equal or respectful terms. It appears that the only thing the “company” ever wanted from their customers is our money.

Karl Oyston has confirmed that for him, it will always be business first. This does make Blackpool somewhat unusual in the English game, in that the other clubs put football first i.e. their main purpose is to perform at the highest financially sustainable level of the football pyramid that each club can manage. The owners of Blackpool FC, on the other hand, attempt to make either the largest profit they can or the least loss. This disadvantages the club hugely as we are not competing on a level playing field with our fellow clubs.

When Valeri Belokon gave us the financial muscle that we previously lacked (with Ian Holloway providing the imagination, unity and belief), we soared to heights that were previously unimaginable. That success came about through shrewd and significant investment in the playing staff and inspired leadership by the coaches and manager. It gave Blackpool FC the fantastic opportunity of a sustainable platform for continued success – if only the owners had chosen to build on that achievement… but we all know how the legacy was squandered.

In contrast to “the best trip”, the current situation could hardly be more bleak. There appears to be no hope of any real or lasting change under this current regime. The owners seem to be completely unwilling to compromise and instead have alienated the fan base almost entirely. They continue to prosecute fans, continue to issue threatening statements, have refused to give the local paper access to the club and, in the opinion of our members, continue to demonstrate their lack of suitability to be custodians of Blackpool FC.

BST’s leveraged bid was well thought-out and professional. It gave the owners an opportunity to resolve the crisis at the heart of our club. It also afforded them an opportunity to begin a genuine negotiation with the Trust. The deadline may have passed, but our offer remains “on the table” while we assess our next move.

That next move will be subject to the wishes and approval of our members. BST has a General Meeting scheduled for Thursday 30th July at 7:30pm at the No.1 Club, Bloomfield Road.

We are as determined as ever to make a positive difference on behalf of all supporters, but the fan base must be united if we are to be successful. We expect our colleagues in the Tangerine Knights to continue with their excellent work and we hope that BSA will also align with us to secure a positive future for the club.

We remain committed to discussion with the Oystons about a change in ownership or a change in the power structure at the club, to bring about a situation in which the fans have a real say in how our club is governed and how our money is spent.