Sean McGinlay discusses the disgusting ownership of Blackpool FC:
It is safe to say Karl and Owen Oyston are two of the most despised characters in the modern day sporting world. Over 2 years from the day Karl Oyston posed smiling next to a fan protest banner depicting the words “Oyston’s cash cow” on it and still Karl and his father reap havoc on this illustrious football club. The Seasiders face yet another relegation, their third in recent years, to League Two and there seems to be no sign of this capitulation ending anytime soon.
Not feeling content with destroying the hopes and dreams of thousands of Seasiders and leaving the club starved in investment last season when they began the season without enough players to fill the substitutes bench, they decided to begin defamation legal action against a number of lifelong fans. Of course this did not go down well in the town with supporters rallying around those being sued as well as building up their distinct anger towards the family infamously known throughout the Fylde Coast.
With the final game of last season being abandoned for a pitch invasion by fans who then refused to move, something that had been in the pipeline for a long time within the fanbase, it sent a clear message to not only the Oyston family but the footballing world whom beforehand were unaware of the vast hatred the two parties mutually have for one another.
The worst part of this messy scenario is that the Oyston family show no sign of relenting. Fans are already boycotted this season and next season, after the end of current season ticket plans, expectations are that the large majority of Blackpool fans will partake in what is being labelled as the ‘Not a penny more’ campaign. With a second Judgement day protest on the horizon at home to Wigan, fans feel this will be the perfect opportunity to renew the wider engagement in the situation through media coverage.
Divisions are beginning to appear within the fanbase and clearly the Oyston family want this, they seek to exploit, divide and conquer. I feel that the upcoming protest will reignite the unity that was so evident in last season’s Judgement Day protest and Karl and Owen will be completely isolated. The Oyston family have driven away generations of supporters with their callous dictatorship, their naivety to the severity of fan anger does them no favours in dealing with the key issues in the media spotlight.
Then of course his father convicted rapist Owen Oyston sits in the background with his cowboy hat watching the whole collapse happen right in front of his eyes. The term ‘like father like son’ couldn’t be more appropriate in this situation with both intent on financial gain whatever the cost, they do not understand the importance not only to football fans but to the community as a whole a football club has. In what some would call a deprived town, with high levels of unemployment, social problems and an overall bad image within Britain, the success of Blackpool’s Premier League adventure shed a positive light on the town.
The community as a whole benefitted significantly from the time in the top division, the exposure the town received definitely helped improve not only morale but business within the town and the community felt united in positivity, fast forward to now and that feeling of positivity has been sucked out of Blackpool. The streets surrounding Bloomfield Road are deathly quiet on matchdays when they used to be beaming with generations of excited fans and visitors, it is not only the fans that suffer, it is the whole community.
Hence why the upcoming protest is focused around being a community march, reinforcing the unity seen just a few years ago but this time in defiance at the disgusting contempt the Oyston family have for Blackpool’s fans and community. Their arrogance and attitude of being untouchable will some reap its deserved consequences, they have seen just how far Blackpool fans are willing to go to stand against their regime and yet they continue. Just what will happen on Judgement day 2 I am unsure of but one thing I know for certain is that in the end there will only be one winner.
One winner. Generation after generation will support this historic football club, they will be brought up with Blackpool Football Club ingrained into their everyday life. Karl and Owen Oyston however are not immortal, they will be long gone when generation after generation can return to Bloomfield Road safe in the knowledge that their football club is being run in the interests of them and their community. The road may be long and strenuous however, as long as Blackpool fans stay united against the Oyston regime and united in their love for their football club, then they will get there in the end. Mark my words, WHEN I return to Bloomfield Road, walk through those turnstiles, out into the stands packed with family after family of Blackpool supporters knowing their club is no longer run by an Oyston, I can safely say it will be the greatest day in this club’s illustrious history and it could not come a day sooner.
The Blackpool fanbase may have their disagreements, their own issues and their own misconceptions about the situation, but they all share one thing and that is the love for their club. The Oyston family on the other hand share love for money only. Blackpool Football Club won the FA Cup in 1953, they had the likes of Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen and Jimmy Armfield on their books, they have represented everything great about our beautiful game. That needs to be protected and whilst the spineless Footballing authorities claim they are helpless in this scenario, fan power will prevail. It always does and it always will.
Follow Sean on Twitter @SMac_53