The club and its fans have suffered enough, so it is only right The Gazette gives its full backing to those impassioned calls pleading with the EFL not to implement the 12-point deduction.
Yes receivership is technically classed as an insolvency event, but Shaun Harvey and co should know this is a unique set of events; an unprecedented situation.
The EFL brought in points deductions to deter clubs from overspending, which has clearly not been the case at Blackpool.
The mess Blackpool has found itself in is a situation the EFL helped create. Deducting 12 points would be adding salt to the wound.
Fifteen months have passed since the original High Court judgement and yet what exactly have the EFL done, despite 163 damning pages proving beyond all doubt that Owen Oyston illegitimately stripped the football club of funds?
While Karl Oyston was chairman, he was under the impression Owen wasn’t allowed to be the club’s main signatory due to his previous conviction for rape. Hence why, when he left after being kicked out by his father, he wrote to Harvey telling him Owen was – and always had been – the man in charge.
Yet they sat back and barely flickered an eyelid.
While most fans would be prepared to take the deduction as long as it meant Oyston was out, and that’s a position I completely understand, it would be unjust for Terry McPhillips, his staff and the players.
They’ve somehow managed, despite all the odds, to put Blackpool on the cusp of the League One play-offs.
Having watched Blackpool all season I’m confident they will avoid relegation even if the deduction is applied.
The letter read out in court from the EFL’s governance and legal director did make for encouraging reading; he basically informed the judge any decision regarding the deduction would be discretionary.
They have to consider whether the club would be able to continue fulfilling its obligations, i.e. complete their remaining fixtures, and whether it had sufficient funding in place. You’d like to think that wouldn’t be a concern.
The main worry is the eventual decision could be down to an EFL committee likely to include certain owners of other clubs. Do we expect them to be sympathetic to Blackpool’s plight?