UPDATE: Legal action against online Blackpool fans’ forum struck out


A defamation case against a Blackpool supporter's message board brought by the Oyston family has been struck out by court, it has been confirmed.

The case against Paul Crashley, who runs the Back Henry Street web forum, will now not reach court and has been resolved before the scheduled January 31 hearing.

The Oyston's were suing the message board for up to £150,000 over six defamatory comments allegedly posted on the site in 2014.

Official court documents showed both Karl and Owen Oyston, plus Blackpool Football Club, were hoping to claim damages of a maximum £50,000 each.

A statement was posted on the message board this morning (Tuesday) which claimed the case had been struck out, with full costs to be paid.

Karl Oyston has since confirmed legal action has been ceased.

The statement reads: "The administrators and moderators of Back Henry Street are delighted to announce that the defamation case brought against the site by Owen Oyston, Blackpool Football Club and Karl Oyston has been struck out in its entirety by the court, with full costs to be paid.

"From the very beginning we sought advice from numerous legal professionals including several solicitors, legal professors and students of law, with the unanimous consensus has being in line with our own opinion, that this claim was utterly without merit and so we are obviously extremely happy with this outcome.

"As always, we would like to remind members of this site, and any other site, to always consider the posts that you write before placing them online, but also, we would remind you that you should never fear posting your honest opinion and comment, or discussing known truths.

"Blackpool Football Club is a proud one, steeped in footballing history, and the performance and conduct of its custodians, current or future, should rightly be held under scrutiny. So too, their behaviour toward the clubs devoted and passionate fan base.

"We will also take this opportunity to state unequivocally that we will never bow under pressure to hand over the private and personal details of any of our members to any institution that demands it unless instructed to do so by a court.

"We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to all that have offered donations, help and support during this difficult and, at times, distressing period.

"In particular we would like to thank: Robert Evans of Roland Robinsons & Fentons solicitors for his work in getting us to this point and across the finish line.

"The members of Back Henry Street, AVFTT, and many other fan portals for both Blackpool fans and those of other clubs all over the country for their donations, support and messages of goodwill.

"The fans own official supporters group, Blackpool Supporters Trust for their support, not only in this case, in which they were the only supporters group to reach out to us, but for all the work they do for others in similar situations and for the club in general.

"The Tangerine Knights, again for their support of both Back Henry Street, other Blackpool fans and Blackpool FC.

"The incredible community of true Blackpool fans as a whole that have made a footballing fans ultimate sacrifice in no longer attending matches out of principle and in support of us and those other fans in similar circumstances.

"In particular we would thank Nathan Fogg, Steven Sharpe, Tim Fielding, Jeremy Smith, Andy Grice, David Ragozzino and Stephen Reed for all their personal assistance and support.

"Last but not least, to friends and family for their support and, on occasion, their tolerance when times were at their darkest."

The news came at the commencement of a separate hearing brought by Blackpool FC's president Valeri Belokon against the club's owners, the Oyston family.