Owen Oyston opens up to critics

Owen Oyston
Owen Oyston
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Owen Oyston has once again hit back at claims his family should leave Blackpool FC instead insisting Lee Clark is ready to ‘kick-start’ the club’s recovery.

Club owner Oyston has today issued an open letter to The Gazette following the publishing of demands by Blackpool’s Supporters’ Trust (BST) to sack his son Karl as chairman.

The fan group claimed the club ‘has been on an unacceptable downward spiral for too long’ and showed its disgust at the club’s current position at the bottom of the Championship.

And while Oyston acknowledged the club’s poor form, he hit back at claims the Oyston family should step-down.

“I feel heartily sorry for our fans and acknowledge that we have made a woeful start to this football season and, in fact, our football recently has been sadly lacking,” Oyston explained in his letter.

“This has thoroughly depressed the fans as well as myself but, because we have achieved great success before, I believe we can do it again and get back to top flight football.

“Immediately before this bad spell, we had 12 years of exciting, successful football which included ‘The best trip we have ever been on’.

“I am sure that our new manager will strengthen the team substantially over the next few weeks and I have every confidence in him to kick start our recovery.

“The good news is that he and Karl are working really well together.”

The 81-year-old, who bought the club in 1987, also revealed the club has issued legal proceedings against BST chairman Tim Fielding for what they describe as ‘false, misleading and defamatory allegations against them.’

It follows revelations yesterday as many as six Pool supporters are facing legal action over claims made online, with one supporter David Ragozzino revealing he was ‘gutted’ by a potential £150,000 legal bill over alleged comments he made about the Oyston family on fans’ forum A View From The Tower.

In the original letter, printed in full by The Gazette on January 2, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust demanded Oyston himself meets with fans to discuss the club’s problems.

Something which Oyston says isn’t possible at present.

He said: “My solicitors have advised that I cannot meet with you, nor respond to the details of your open letter at this time, as I am in the middle of a legal action against your Chairman, who has made serious, false, misleading and defamatory allegations against me personally, as well as against Karl which have been widely publicised.

“Once this matter is resolved, I will be pleased to respond in detail to your open letter.”

When contacted about the claims, Mr Fielding told The Gazette he was aware of the action against him but wasn’t in a position to comment at present.