Oyston goes on the attack against protesters

Karl Oyston was speaking to TalkSport
Karl Oyston was speaking to TalkSport
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Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston has labelled protests against his running of the club a "busted flush" and insists he will never sell.

Talking to TalkSport radio, Oyston said he "pities" the protesters who will stand shoulder to shoulder with Blackburn Rovers fans both before and during the FA Cup fourth round clash between the two sides at Ewood Park.

When asked about the protests and the likelihood of a low crowd, Oyston said: "It is very sad. It is not a state of affairs any club owner would by choice want to be a part of.

"But we have had strong sales of around 1,300 tickets which is not too bad for a League Two club."

Talking to Jim White, Oyston was pressed on his previous running of the club and went on the attack when asked about those who are boycotting games at Bloomfield Road.

Oyston said: "I have taken plenty of wrong turns and I'll be the first to admit that. I have been here for over 20 years and we have had good times and some bad times more recently.

"I think it's very much in vogue for some people, and let's not over-egg the pudding, there's normally a handful - half a dozen or so - outside the ground on match day waving a banner around.

"They are people with no alternatives, nothing to offer and just want to criticise, deride and abuse the proper fans that come into the ground.

"Their numbers are dwindling, the interest is dwindling and they're a busted flush. They have nothing to offer and you can only go on for so long trotting out the same tired rhetoric before they get bored of it.

"We run the club and yet they naively, perhaps childishly, think we should be driven away."

Asked if Blackpool had been approached by a German consortium led by Edin Rahic that eventually took over Bradford City, Oyston replied: "That approach was dismissed out of hand by our minority shareholders.

"If we're being honest, Bradford have higher levels of support than we do. We have a very loyal core support that don't deserve abuse by a sprinkling of fans.

"We have had the odd offer for the club over the years which also included a laughable approach from a group of supporters.

"The family has owned the club for around 30 years and my father is a manic Blackpool fan and always will be. If there are adverse results it really affects him.

"If there is an offer, we will make it public. But right now there is nothing to walk away from and peace has already broken out among those who come to support the club."

Despite receiving abuse aimed at himself and his family, the Blackpool chairman said it won't force him to sell up.

"I have had plenty of death threats and abuse from cowardly people. These are really the lower echelons of society we're talking about," he added.

"We are all human and some of the threats and abuse were aimed at my family, so I reacted inappropriately. I will forever regret that and it will never happen again. I have apologised and tried to make things right. But we can not allow these cowardly people to succeed.

"They are a dwindling group championing a cause that isn't there. It is an unsustainable approach. I pity them."

Having listened to Oyston's interview, Christine Seddon, deputy chair of the Blackpool Supporters' Trust (BST), responded: "It's just astonishing, I'm staggered by what he said.

"The half a dozen protesters he refers to is me and the BST committee. But our protests are the boycott. The last protest we did we had around 4,000 people almost bring Blackpool town centre to a standstill.

"We have tried for so long and put up with so much. Getting to the Premier League on the back of Valeri Belokon's investment brought in millions to Blackpool.

"But they have simply failed to invest. They won't invest in the fans, the players or the infrastructure.

"Look at the state we're in. Having all that money hasn't done us any good and hasn't stopped us going down the divisions.

"They're the busted flush. They have about 1,500 season ticket holders. They give away thousands of free tickets every week, or try to.

"Look at the empty seats at Bloomfield Road, this isn't a one-off protest. This is a huge story that deserves more coverage."

When asked about a possible takeover of the club, Mrs Seddon said: "There are people out there and we're aware of that. How do you know if someone wants to buy your house until you put it for sale? You don't.

"Believe me, there are people out there.

"But what sort of way is that to live your life? Do the right thing for yourself, the club and the town. Off you go and enjoy your millions but leave us alone and let us have our club back."