English football’s governing bodies are set to get involved in the Blackpool FC crisis.
The Football League and the FA have both committed to holding talks with Seasiders fans and the Oyston family should a meeting be arranged later this month.
Councillor Tony Williams met with supporters’ groups last night and informed them of his progress as mediator in a bid to resolve the longstanding battle between the club’s owners and many of its fans.
Blackpool Supporters Trust, Yorkshire Seasiders and Blackpool Supporters Association all met last night with the club’s Community Trust to discuss issues surrounding the club.
Coun. Williams, who chaired last night’s meeting after getting involved in January, said he has exchanged letters with the Oyston family and is hopeful a solution can be found.
A breakthrough appears to have been made with the FA and the Football League, who previously showed no wish to get involved. Coun. Williams told The Gazette: “I’ve received positive feedback from both the FL and the FA, who have told me they would come to a meeting between fans and the Oystons.
“I’ve also held talks the Minister for Sport and Tourism, who has given her full backing to talks to resolve this situation.
“While the Oystons have not yet accepted my invitation, I’d like to think they would be willing to come to the table.”
Coun. Williams, who leads the Conservative group on Blackpool Council, has called for a ‘truce’ between the Oystons and supporters for the good of the town.
He added: “I’m not taking sides – I just want to try to find some common ground.
“My aim is simply to bring people to the table to talk. This is a situation which needs resolving. I’m sick and tired of Blackpool being spoken about badly due to all this. It’s the last thing the town needs.
“The football team is in dire straits now and if I can get people talking this will have been worthwhile.”
And he is confident last night’s meeting was an important first step forward.
He said: “The fan groups are good people, who are passionate about their football club and desperately want a change.
“The agenda last night was a very positive one. I’m hoping we can all make progress in the future.”