Fans groups in revolt against Oyston

A fan hold up a Oyston Out scarf at Aston Villa last week
A fan hold up a Oyston Out scarf at Aston Villa last week
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Blackpool FC supporters’ groups have joined together to condemn the Oyston family.

Fans’ messages of support flooded in for Tim Fielding, who stood down as chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Trust after Pool owner Owen Oyston began legal proceedings against him.

Meanwhile the Blackpool Supporters Association announced it had broken off all communication with club chairman Karl Oyston, accusing him of “alienating supporters and bringing our football club into disrepute”.

BSA has historically been close to the club, holding fans’ forums with chairman Oyston, but its committee yesterday wrote to members to explain why it would be “withdrawing from talks with the chairman of Blackpool FC”.

The letter accuses Oyston of lacking long-term vision and pride in the club, and of failing to listen to supporters.

BST press officer Steve Rowland said of Fielding’s departure: “Tim is a lifelong Blackpool supporter, passionate about the progress and welfare of the club we all love.

“It is a sad reflection on the state of relations between owners and fans that the former are resorting to legal action against him. We believe this is unprecedented in English football.

“BST would like to thank Tim for his motivational leadership, which has been hugely influential in getting BST up and running and emerging as the credible organisation it is.”

No-one from Blackpool FC was willing to speak to The Gazette on fan issues yesterday. However, manager Lee Clark has admitted the club’s off-field problems are hampering his battle against relegation.

Clark’s team are nine points from safety at the bottom of the Championship but the build-up to today’s huge home match with Millwall has been totally overshadowed by matters involving the Oystons.

The Gazette revealed this week that as many as six Pool supporters are facing legal action over comments about the Oystons posted on an internet fan site .

One of them, David Ragozzino, revealed he was being sued for £150,000.

Add to this all the problems surrounding new contracts of young duo Mark Waddington and Dom Telford, and the disappearance of striker Nile Ranger, and it’s hardly surprising Clark says: “It’s frustrating with all the off-the-field issues at the moment.

“I don’t just want to stay in this league – I want to change the whole perception of this club.

“I want to try to change the mentality of everything around Blackpool Football Club.

“I want the fans to enjoy being part of it, and although they’ve been fantastic so far, that just isn’t happening at the moment, for a number of reasons.”