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Oyston hails daughter for Blackpool FC revival

Owen Oyston (back right) labeled Natalie Christopher (back centre) a breath of fresh air at Blackpool FC
Owen Oyston (back right) labeled Natalie Christopher (back centre) a breath of fresh air at Blackpool FC

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer refused to be drawn on claims by the club’s owner Owen Oyston that his daughter Natalie Christopher has had a positive impact on the team’s results.

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Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer refused to be drawn on claims by the club’s owner Owen Oyston that his daughter Natalie Christopher has had a positive impact on the team’s results.

In a statement issued to The Gazette on Tuesday, Oyston claimed Christopher has been a “breath of fresh air” and has created a “new positive environment” since being appointed chairwoman last month.

That appointment followed the departure of Owen’s son, Karl, who was removed from the post he had held for close to 20 years due to a bitter family feud.

Owen appeared to give his daughter some credit for the team’s recent upturn in form. He said: “Natalie has been a breath of fresh air since she came in. Since she was appointed chairwoman of the football club we have only lost one game out of eight and she has created a new positive environment.

“I believe this is reflected in her relationship with the manager and the players.

“Imagine if we could resolve the football club issues off the pitch – I believe there would be even better performances on the pitch.

“This manager and team could certainly take the club to the Championship in due course.” It is understood Christopher has met with the players twice.

Asked about Oyston’s comments, Bowyer told The Gazette: “Owen was talking from the type of business that I don’t get involved in.

“It’s not something for me to comment on because I don’t see what goes off with that side of it.

“I’ve always found Natalie more than helpful and my dealings with her have always been about trying to get some clarity on what can be achieved for the first team.”

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TURN TO PAGE 69

Oyston’s comments formed part of a statement in which he accused Valeri Belokon of “bluffing” the fans and forcing the club into administration.

Oyston claims the Latvian has no interest in taking over the football club and is only interested in reclaiming his money.

This is despite the club’s former president having spent a substantial sum trying to overturn his EFL suspension, which currently prevents him from holding high office at a football club.

It follows revelations that Oyston has offered to walk away “for free” by handing the club over to Belokon to help pay off his debt.

The offer, which was put to Belokon’s lawyers at the start of February, included the stadium, the club hotel and the Squires Gate training ground.

Belokon’s representatives confirmed to The Gazette the offer was declined due to Oyston’s valuation of the club, saying the offer was “clearly not good enough”.

But Oyston claims Belokon never formally replied and treated the offer with “nothing but contempt”.