‘Karl Oyston is on a different planet, I don’t understand him’

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston
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Blackpool hero Eamonn O’Keefe has called on the club’s fans and former players to stand up to chairman Karl Oyston.

O’Keefe is a popular figure after his prolific spell at the club in the 1980s and remains a regular face in the crowd at Bloomfield Road.

Eamonn O'Keefe

Eamonn O'Keefe

A number of former players have spoken of their hurt of the Seasiders’ current crisis which saw them relegated from the Championship last season and facing the prospect of playing in front of empty stands this term.

And the 61-year-old was the latest to contact The Gazette to say it’s time for change.

“The chairman at the moment seems to be on a different planet, I really can’t understand him at all. He seems to have no affection for the football at all – I don’t even know why he’s running a football club.

“My message to Karl Oyston is that if he’s not interested in improving the football club, then step aside and leave.

“To be honest I don’t think we’ll be able to turn this situation around – it’s gone too far.

“It’s time former players and the fans to stand together and say enough is enough.”

O’Keefe is a member of Blackpool’s hall of fame despite managing just 36 appearances in tangerine between 1985 and 86.

A career ending injury cut his time at Bloomfield Road short, but Blackpool is a club which has always been close to his heart.

In 1987 he even arranged a fun-run to raise £15,000 for the then cash-stricken club.

So the current problems hurt him more than most.

He said: “It’s heartbreaking to see the club tumbling the way it is at the moment, it’s actually difficult to watch.

“Blackpool is a club very close to my heart and it’s concerning to see what’s going on down there.

“The Oyston family saved the football club years ago and deserve credit for that, but where is it going now?

“It’s time they stood aside and let someone else have a go, someone who cares about the football and the football club.”

Current boss Neil McDonald is attempting to rebuild a squad which he says will encourage fans back through the doors at Bloomfield Road.

But O’Keefe is backing supporters who insist they won’t be attending home games this season.

“After games we’d sit in the pub with fans and if we’d lost we’d get some stick,” he said.

“But Blackpool FC was one big happy family and everyone wanted the best for the place.

“Now I feel really sorry for the players and the manager, what chance will they have in an empty stadium?

“”I’ve never been one to agree with things like boycotts, but maybe it’s time for people just to stop going until something changes.

“It’s now come to a point where we can no longer sit back and watch the club decline like it has.”