Fan appeal to Owen Oyston to sack his son

Blackpool fans with a banner reading 'love Blackpool hate Oyston'
Blackpool fans with a banner reading 'love Blackpool hate Oyston'
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The Blackpool Supporters Trust has written to club owner Owen Oyston calling for his son, Karl, to be replaced as chairman.

The letter follows on from the fan group’s online petition appealing for Karl Oyston to step down. The petition has attracted around 6,000 signatures since its launch on Christmas Eve.

Many supporters are calling for change, with Pool bottom of the Championship in a season also mired by off-field controversies. Karl Oyston could face disciplinary action over his abusive text row with a supporter following the 6-1 home defeat by Bournemouth.

Part of it reads: “Blackpool FC, under the stewardship of your son, Karl, has been on an unacceptable downward spiral for too long.

“There is a consensus among fans that there has been both a lack of ambition, a lack of strategic direction and insufficient investment in the club, its facilities, its coaching and scouting set-ups, and the team itself over several campaigns. We have seen a totally predictable decline in the quality of the football during that time.”

BST was the product of the Seasiders Independent Supporters Association, which was formed last year by disgruntled fans. Now with more than 1,500 members, BST feel it’s time the Oystons started talking to them.

The letter adds: “Given the deep dissatisfaction that exists among Blackpool fans – for which you must surely feel some sympathy, being a self-professed lifelong BFC fan yourself – we would like to request that you meet with a delegation from Blackpool Supporters’ Trust (by some distance the largest supporters’ organisation at the club) to explore ways in which the current dire predicament can be resolved.”

Here’s the letter in full.

Dear Owen Oyston,

We are writing to you, the majority shareholder in Blackpool FC, on behalf of the 1,200 members of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust - although we are confident that our views are shared by the vast majority of Blackpool supporters.

We are of the collective opinion that this football club, under the stewardship of your son Karl, has been on an unacceptable downward spiral for too long.

There is a consensus among fans that that there has been both a lack of ambition, a lack of strategic direction and insufficient investment in the club, its facilities, its coaching and scouting set-ups and the team itself over several campaigns.

We have seen a totally predictable decline in the quality of the football during that time.

The fact that it has happened against a backdrop of substantial parachute funds being made available from the Premier League since our relegation from the top tier makes the current predicament a difficult one to understand.

Statements to the effect that we are the “envy of the Football League” ring very hollow to supporters of a team cut adrift at the bottom of the Championship and with only four league wins in the whole of 2014.

We were asked to wait to judge Karl Oyston’s handling of the club until the end of the season, but everybody recognises that they’ve seen enough to be able to make that judgement now.

Whether the decline has been deliberately orchestrated or is merely a consequence of incompetence, the verdict is the same – this is no way to run a football club! A bargain basement business ethic will simply deliver Blackpool FC back to the basement of the Football League, from which it took us thirty years to emerge.

The latest unfortunate text exchanges between your son and various Blackpool supporters has only served to make matters worse. We don’t wish to prejudice any FA or Football League investigations into that impropriety, but you should be aware that over 6,000 Blackpool fans have signed a petition requesting that you stand Karl Oyston down from his position with immediate effect, as a first step to addressing this crisis.

Given the deep dissatisfaction that exists among Blackpool fans - for which you must surely feel some sympathy, being a self-professed lifelong BFC fan yourself - we would like to request that you meet with a delegation from Blackpool Supporters’ Trust (by some distance the largest supporters’ organisation at the club) to explore ways in which the current dire predicament can be resolved.

Options for discussion could include: bringing in a Director of Football to properly oversee the management of the club, agreeing to sell Blackpool FC to new owners who have demonstrated an aptitude for investing in and running a Football League club, bequeathing Bloomfield Road to the Supporters’ Trust, formally constituting supporters’ representation on the board of the club.

These are not mutually exclusive ideas.

A significant change is required in 2015 if Blackpool FC is to be rescued from ignominious decline. Blackpool Supporters’ Trust is dedicated to restoring faith in the club and its future, for the benefit of the fans, the town and the wider community of Blackpool and the Fylde and we would like you to state publicly that you have the same intent.

Yours faithfully,

The Committee,

on behalf of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust