OPEN LETTER: Karl Oyston should have listened

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

Councillor Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative Group on the Blackpool Council, has issued to the following open letter to Karl Oyston:

"In January 2016 I called for a truce between the fan associations in Blackpool and the football club.

"I met with representatives from Blackpool Supporters' Trust who in principal agreed to my proposal and then I met later with Karl Oyston. Part of the truce proposal was to cease all actions from both sides including legal and protests until round table talks could commence.

"When I met with Karl he made it quite clear that he would not stop from further legal actions or meet with BST unless it was under his terms and through the existing Fans' Progress Group.

"This was not the basis for a truce and I was disappointed but respected his decision - after all he had been the target and the sender of some pretty nasty hatemail. However I am sure if Karl had accepted the offer things might have improved.

"Instead we now have thousands of fans who refuse to attend home games and a once thriving football empire facing the very possible option of collapsing completely.

READ MORE: Blackpool’s £1.8m losses no surprise to Oyston

"Without a football club we could be losing the heart of our community, a place where quality father and son time has already been affected, where grandparents could share valuable and healthy recreational remembered moments with their grandchildren. A place where social community, integration and friendship could be nurtured and a shrine where winning and losing can be both celebrated and reflected upon.

"Politics do not come into this, despite what all the armchair blogging warriors have to say. But it is true that all my own councillors agree wholeheartedly with me that there has to be change.

"Yet there has been not one comment from the party on the opposite side of the council chamber or from the council itself. I truly believe the council have failed the people of the town by taking a neutral stance and not offering to mediate or even support the idea of saving the club. The leader of this council Cllr. Simon Blackburn will be fully aware of what’s happening as Karl Oyston confirmed to me at our meeting that they speak on a regular basis.

"To me it’s quite clear the club cannot continue without its fans and the fans have shown their tenacity and commitment by boycotting the club for several years – they will not waiver.

"Owen and Karl cannot possibly sustain the longevity or economic validity of the club for much longer, regardless of the outcome of the court cases they are involved in.

"And if they do truly have any feelings at all for the town and the people of Blackpool they must do the honourable thing and agree to negotiate an exit strategy for themselves from BFC as soon as possible.

"On my part it’s not personal. My worries are for the future of one of our best assets and it's time the other elected representatives of the town, together with large and small business leaders, spoke out and supported the very people they represent and whose trade they count on everyday and the thousands who want to see change and secure the future of our football club under new ownership."