‘All Things Bright And Blackpool: Part One
Winds Of Change Are Blowing (But It Still Reeks At Bloomfield Road!)
Remember, Remember The Sixth Of November – When Oyston’s Treason Goes To Pot.
Not quite the famous words one would associate with ‘Remember, Remember’, but for long-suffering fans of Blackpool Football Club the hope is that Monday 6th November 2017 will be the start of the end of the Oyston reign at Blackpool Football Club.
‘Thirty years of hurt’ (as David Baddiel and Frank Skinner would have put it) has always stopped Blackpool Football Club dreaming – yes, even in that season where we somehow managed to find ourselves in the Premier League ,things were going wrong behind the scene and success on the pitch masked the utter deviousness going on in the boardroom.
There was allegedly £11m siphoned out of the club to prop up a business owned by Owen Oyston is one of countless scandals associated with the regime which has been in charge at Bloomfield Road since The Bangles, Heart and Whitney Houston were topping the music charts (1987, incidentally), and since 2015 the momentum has slowly built against the Oyston family through ‘Judgment Day’ protests and also the NAPM (Not A Penny More) movement which aims to starve the Oyston family of finance from the club.
Valeri Belokon is the man who stands to make the most out of any Oyston misfortune – do not forget that he was integral to turning around the fortunes of the club ten years ago. His investment was the fulcrum towards Blackpool attaining a place in the Premier League under the management of Ian Holloway – the Oyston’s did nothing but use the good luck and fortune for their own ends, leaving the club hollowed out and in free-fall in recent years. Even a decent campaign in League 1 this season cannot paper over the cracks.
The Oyston’s have run the club as their own ‘Cash Cow’ and have been allowed to do this unchecked and unchallenged for years, but a legal decision on the date mentioned will hopefully see much needed change at Bloomfield Road and hopefully it will be the start of better things to come for the ailing League One side.’
Part 2 (as it’s a very special day here in Blackpool)
On Thursday 9th June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to Brexit – a difficult decision to make and one which will have ramifications for the future.
On Monday 6th November 2017, Judge Marcus Smith QC delivered a damning verdict on the Oyston family and set in motion the fall of their empire. OystonXIT is now a very real possibility, after 30 years of them using and abusing Blackpool Football Club.
The judgment makes for interesting reading (if you have time to spare) and can be found at https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/vbfa-v-blackpoolfc.pdf
Even skim-reading this document, you cannot be in any doubt as to the mentality of the crookedness of Owen and Karl Oyston; they took the club and the fans for granted and thought that they were untouchable – even surviving three ‘Judgment Day’ protests. However, they now have to find £31.2 million (an amount which could financially ruin them and lead to a quick sale of the club, possibly to Valeri Belokon) of which £10m is due in 28 days.
The Oyston’s still have a grip on power at Bloomfield Road, but this is slowly diminishing and there is no guarantee that they will stay on as owners. It is possible that they could, should they have enough saleable assets, but by Summer 2018 they will have to either find a new buyer or investment partner or risk the club folding completely.
One problem, with regards to a possible new owner, is who this person might be – Valeri Belokon has been spoken about as a possible new owner, but he is yet to launch a buyout of the club (this may/may not happen in the weeks and months ahead). David Haythornthwaite (AFC Fylde) and Andy Pilley (Fleetwood Town) have also been mentioned as possible owners/partners, but would they walk away from their respective clubs both of which are doing very well for the levels at which they play?
Whoever does eventually take over from the Oyston’s needs to be thoroughly assessed as fit and proper, as we’ve already seen examples of where clubs were bought out only to end up in a worse state. Notts. County and MUNTO; Chester City and Stephen Vaughan; Hereford United and Tommy Agombar all spring to mind. Having set the death knell on the ownership of Blackpool Football Club by the Oyston’s, the last thing the club would need is another bad owner/s.
An important battle has been won – now to finish the war and raise the victory flag over Bloomfield Road!
words Ian Lawrence, D3D4 Blackpool FC Correspondent