Pool fans call for Oyston exit talks

Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston
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Blackpool Supporters Trust say they will only hold further dialogue with club chairman Karl Oyston to discuss his “exit” from Bloomfield Road as the toxic fallout from his FA ban continues to spread.

Oyston is to be banned from all football activities for six weeks from July 8, having broken the FA’s conduct rules by sending a series of abusive and expletive-laden text messages to a Pool supporter.

Full details of Oyston’s texts to Stephen Smith, which were sent over several days and included offensive references to disability, were revealed by the FA last Friday.

And today BST chairman Steve Rowland made it clear the only way for Oyston to engage with the club’s biggest supporters’ group would be by agreeing to walk away from Bloomfield Road.

The trust is expected to reveal within weeks a plan to buy Blackpool FC from the Oyston family, potentially at a knockdown price should loans to other Oyston companies be written off.

Rowland said: “BST has continually approached Karl Oyston looking for a dialogue but every request has been refused.

“In the past we have been open to talks but now the feeling of our members is clear.

“The only future talks we are prepared to engage in with Karl Oyston relate to his exit strategy.

“That is why we are now drawing up our plans to buy the club.”

BST’s executive is understood to have met last night to iron out the final details of the proposals and to approve the next stage of the process.

New manager Neil McDonald is conducting his pre-season planning against this background of animosity, with a clear rift between the club’s owners and supporters.

And Rowland insists the latest revelations about the chairman’s text exchange haven’t helped to ease the tensions.

He told The Gazette: “I don’t think anybody is surprised by what was said, by the ferocity of it.

“It is just another example of the toxic relationship between the owners of the football club and the supporters.”

And he called on the FA and Football League to answer the trust’s concerns that Oyston has been treated too leniently.

Rowland said: “We have written to both the FA and the Football League asking for certain assurances from them.

“I am keen to persuade everyone at the FA that Karl Oyston should have no leeway. We are still waiting for a response.

“As for the ban itself, some will be asking why it couldn’t have been much stronger.

“But I understand the constraints under which the FA was operating.

“However, the current situation does nothing to improve the standing of the football club.”