Councillor abandons bid for Blackpool FC ‘peace’ deal

Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston
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Councillor Tony Williams has abandoned his attempt to negotiate a ‘peace’ deal between Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston and the club’s supporters, and is now calling for the owners to leave.

Coun Williams’ announcement came on the day the Seasiders were thrown a lifeline in their fight for Leagaue One survival by Fleetwood’s 3-1 defeat at Walsall.

A point for Town would have relegated Pool, but Neil McDonald’s men could now pull off the most unlikely of escapes if they win at Peterborough on Sunday and Fleetwood lose at home to Crewe.

Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat by champions Wigan left Pool on the brink, with around 3,000 fans taking to the streets before the game to call for the Oyston family to quit the club.

Coun Williams appealed for a truce in January and held talks with Karl Oyston in a bid to bring the parties together “for the good of the town”.

The Blackpool councillor said: “I had a lengthy meeting and a subsequent telephone conversation with Karl Oyston and also discussions with the fans’ association, together with separate conversations with individual supporters. I have to sadly conclude that it would be highly unlikely the differences between the club and the fans could be resolved around the negotiating table.

“In my opinion, the distrust runs deep and it could be that Blackpool FC’s only hope for a return to glory and a healthily-supported future would be, as many fans have already confirmed, for the Oyston family to walk away.”

Coun Williams went on to question the motives of the owners. He said: “I did originally believe Karl’s father Owen Oyston when he claimed to be a passionate supporter of the club and I also recognise the original input he had into the much-improved facilities.

“However, I cannot understand why he has allowed the situation to continue to fester and grow, eating into the very heart and soul of the club he claims he loves so much.”

Coun Williams, whose attempts to arrange a meeting between Karl Oyston and the fans proved unsuccessful, added: “I would suggest that Owen Oyston needs to intervene with immediate effect, starting meaningful and positive dialogue with Blackpool Supporters’ Trust.

“He also should appoint someone new to take over the helm at the club and try to salvage any last-minute opportunity to save both the integrity and future of Blackpool FC.”