Meeting to unite all Blackpool fans, but Oyston won’t be there

Steve Rowland
Steve Rowland
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Blackpool’s fans will unite this evening in their latest attempt to solve the club’s crisis – but neither Karl nor Owen Oyston will be present.

Blackpool Supporters Trust will be joined by fellow fan groups Blackpool Supporters Association and Yorkshire Seasiders as well as the club’s Community Trust for a meeting to be chaired by Councillor Tony Williams and aimed at somehow find a solution to the worsening problems at Bloomfield Road.

BST invited club owner Owen Oyston and chairman Karl Oyston, but after neither responded the invitation was rescinded.

It all comes after Coun. Williams’ call in The Gazette in January for a ‘truce’ between supporters – many of whom are staying away from matches in an ongoing protest against the ownership – and the Oyston family, although waters were muddied by the club’s failed attempt to organise a meeting of its own.

Supporters’ groups were invited to meet with Karl Oyston on Thursday this week, but BST described the conditions imposed as “unacceptable” and decided not to attend after more than 1,000 of its members voted on the issue.

BST chairman Steve Rowland hopes tonight’s meeting will bring supporters together. “It’s about all fans uniting and coming together as one,” he said.

“We are pleased to have received a response from Ashley Hackett of the club’s Community Trust, who confirmed they will be attending.”

Although the Oystons will be absent, BST have suggested a meeting with the owners could be in the pipeline.

The club’s largest fan group met with the Football League last week to talk about the ‘Blackpool problem’, with the governing body keen to help bring both parties to the table.

Rowland said: “It was suggested the Oystons may be willing to attend a meeting further down the line.

“We rescinded Karl Oyston’s invitation for tonight because we knew there was no way he was going to come.

“We hope another meeting can be arranged between a united group of fans, the Football League and the Oystons in the future.

“If the chance of such a meeting comes along, we’d put it to our members and would be open to attending.

“We have to find a solution to what is happening at the moment – it’s totally destroying the club.”