Oyston: I’ll deliver a new training ground

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston speaks to The Gazette's William Watt
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston speaks to The Gazette's William Watt
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Karl Oyston has pledged to push forward with plans for a new Blackpool FC training ground as quickly as possible.

The training base at Squires Gate has been a talking point for Pool players and managers down the years, with many quick to criticise the facilities which Ian Holloway once branded “a hellhole”.

Some supporters refuse to believe the new facility will ever materialise, but chairman Oyston assured The Gazette it is a top priority. Oyston said: “It will absolutely happen. I will deliver a training ground for Blackpool Football Club as soon as I possibly can.

“Hopefully that will be in the next couple of seasons.

“It’s the last big thing I need to tick off the list of things I need to do.

“I’m not going to fail at what I set out to do at the club.”

And The Gazette understands plans for the new development are at an advanced stage.

The club has held a number of meetings with council officials in recent months and plans have been drawn up, though the exact location for the training ground can’t yet be made public.

Although the new complex would be for the Seasiders’ first-team squad primarily, Oyston wants a facility which can be used by the club at all levels and by the local community.

The plans are expected to include an all-weather development close to the Bloomfield Road stadium to be used by the club’s community trust.

Oyston said of his grand design: “It will give us a good base to build on to bring together all parts of our club – the girls’ football, the academy and the community trust. I want a facility to demonstrate that we mean business as a club. It will be a statement of intent as a football club.

“It will show our commitment to the town and the community.

“Whether the training ground has the relevance people place on it I don’t know, but that isn’t the point. The point is I’ve said I’ll deliver it and I will.”

Oyston never likes to be pushed on timescales, insisting any delays in development are due to issues outside the club’s control.

“At the moment, it’s going on as quickly as I can make it go on,” he said.