Four quit Oyston fan group after just one meeting

Falling number of supporters at Bloomfield Road was one of the topics talked about
Falling number of supporters at Bloomfield Road was one of the topics talked about
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Four of Blackpool’s Fans Progress Group have quit after talks with chairman Karl Oyston.

The much talked about panel has been left depleted after the chairperson, along with three more of the 12-fan group, decided to no longer be involved.

Originally dubbed the ‘Fans Parliament’, the group was put together by Blackpool FC as an attempt to build bridges between the under fire owners and the supporters.

But after refusing to talk to established fan groups Blackpool Supporters Association and Blackpool Supporters Trust, the newly formed FPG was heavily criticised by supporters.

And this week chair Vicky Sinclair has walked away from the group along with Clayton Short, Dave White and one other.

“It was quickly clear Karl Oyston isn’t going to change,” said Sinclair, a member of The Gazette’s fans’ jury.

“I don’t regret getting involved as it was a good chance to speak to the owners and try to help the situation the club finds itself in.

“But after the first meeting it quickly became clear he wasn’t really willing to act on our main concerns.”

After being hand-picked by club officials the FPG held its first meeting with the Oyston last month at Bloomfield Road.

The minutes published from the meeting showed legal action against fans, lack of investment in the playing squad and treatment of The Gazette were high on the fans’ agenda.

And Sinclair, who had been promised access to the club’s board meetings, added: “Further legal action against fans was launched a day after we released our minutes from the meeting.

“That was the final straw for me.

“While it was good to be able to give our thoughts to the chairman, it was quite clear he wasn’t really willing to do much about our concerns. I don’t know what the rest of the group are going to do, but I felt it’s only right to walk away.”

It’s as yet unclear is the FPG will recruit new members or simply carry on as a eight-man panel.

Another who has walked away is life-long fan Clayton Short, he said: “I decided to resign the morning after the first meeting with Oyston.

“I’ve met him before in similar meetings and I’m sad to say it was the same old Karl.

“He appears totally unwilling to compromise about a number of things.

“Many of the people on the panel have come under real criticism for doing so, but we just all want to try and help.

“I joined out of curiosity more than anything else, sadly I just can’t see it bringing any real progress.”

No-one from the club was available to comment on the situation.