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    Blackpool - a once proud club


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    Blackpool - a once proud club

    Post  daib0 on Tue 05 May 2015, 10:11 am

    brilliant article by a Posh supporter ...


    Blackpool FC – A Once Proud Club Being Dragged To Its Knees By Oyston

    I’m not entirely sure if it was Karl Oyston’s intention to become one of English footballs most hated figures, but boy is he making sure he will be remembered as one

    In the 48th minute of Blackpool’s Championship bow, with fans spilling onto the pitch to protest the disgraceful ownership of a once proud club, the game was abandoned. Meanwhile Oyston laughed on from his director’s box, gesturing for his son to take a selfie. Though, one might imagine that smile was soon wiped from his face, when the ensuing mob almost broke into the director’s box. Although visiting Huddersfield fans had reason to be angry, Blackpool’s protest was fully justified; something had to happen to draw attention to modern football’s scourge, clueless chairmen. Less than 5 years ago, the Tangerine army were celebrating promotion to the top flight, yet now they face the prospect of the third tier, finishing the season with a record low 25 points. Not only does Oyston look intent on dragging the club to his knees, he seemingly wants to antagonise fans in the process.

    Those images of Oyston laughing on from the director’s box are just the latest developments in a string of pathetic attacks on Blackpool fans. This week Oyston had the statue of club legend, Stan Mortensen, removed from its rightful spot and left to rust in a grounds man’s shed, citing safety concerns as the reason behind the decision. Not only does this childish move show lack of maturity on Oyston’s part, it also shows complete disrespect to the fans who worked extremely hard to raise the £25,000 needed for the sculpture. That would be enough distasteful PR for any club, but not for Oyston, because earlier this season, his foul-mouthed texts to a fan, were passed onto the press. ‘Massive retard’ and ‘Intellectual Cripple’ were just two of the phrases sent by Oyston, to a fan who dared to question the running of the club. What a representative of the club.

    Unfortunately for Blackpool, these verbal attacks are just the tip of the ice-berg, the entire infrastructure of the club is shambolic from top to bottom. Cracks were appearing in the Oyston regime long before their slide down the divisions, with inadequate facilities plaguing the club in the Premier League. Just days before their clash with Man Utd, Ian Holloway’s side were forced to train on the beach after their training pitch was frozen over, at a training ground Holloway once described as a ‘hell hole’. Though, the training ground has been the least of Blackpool’s worries over the past few years, with the playing surface at Bloomfield Road attracting a lot of unwanted attention.

    Speaking in 2012, then manager Michael Appleton said ‘’ the playing surface plays a massive part in the game; the players can’t really trust the bounce of the ball ‘’. Later that year, skipper Alex Baptiste told the media that the pitch was ‘killing’ the team and that it was a struggle to play on. Criticism wasn’t just emanating from within the club; Steve Bruce, Aitor Karanka and Darren Ferguson were among those who complained about the state of the pitch, the central theme being that both sides were battling against the surface rather than each other. But how is this Oyston’s fault? Well 2 years on from his promise to fix the ‘shambolic pitch’ the Bloomfield road surface still remains in poor condition.

    The pitch is probably the least of the Blackpool Faithfull’s worries; because Oyston’s financial wrongdoings are a lot more serious than a patch of grass. Although it may be a bit premature to claim that he’s trying to financially ruin the club, but it does seem that the club is being run purely for the financial benefit of the Oyston family. Though technically nothing was wrong with the Oyston’s dealings, I’ll let you be the judge of whether they were morally right. In March 2012, companies owned by Owen Oyston, father of Karl, were paid £11m by Blackpool; he claimed it was for ‘tax purposes’, fans remained dubious. Those dealings seemed relatively small in comparison to the findings of a channel 4 investigation; they claimed that tens of millions were paid in interest free loans to the clubs holding company Segesta LTD, owned by Oyston’s father.

    It begs the question: why isn’t the money being re-invested in the club? This brings me nicely on to my next point, player recruitment. The lack of transfer activity at Blackpool was one of Paul Ince’s main issues when in charge of the club, and he was incredibly vocal about it. In June 2013, the club were only able to take 13 players on a pre-season trip to Portugal, with Ince telling the media that he had to take ‘’ 7 or 8 kids’’ on the tour. Later that month he expressed his frustration at the lack of movement behind the scenes, stating: ‘’ we’ve got 4 weeks until the start of the season and we’ve got 13 players, we need to start looking for players on a long term basis ‘’. But perhaps the darkest hour on the playing staff front, was when Michael Chopra took to twitter to bemoan the lack of proper training. He tweeted to his followers ‘’ F***ing joke, come into training and only 6 players here, then find out the fitness coach is taken the session #Joke’’. You might have thought the embarrassment the club suffered that year would have spurred Oyston on to ensure that it never happened again, but it did. This season, just a year on from the training camp debacle, it happened again, however this time the shortage was so severe that the trip to La Manga had to be cancelled. Once again Oyston made a promise to fans, and once again that was broken. Jose Riga had only 9 available players on the morning of their championship opener against Nottingham Forest, he managed to scramble a squad together with only four of the 7 available subs and inevitably went down 2-0.

    Bringing new players in was only part of the problem; keeping hold of current ones was also an issue. Though, it’s no surprise when you consider some of the downright disrespectful offers dished out by Oyston. In July 2014, long serving goalkeeper Matt Gilks was offered a contract by Oyston, what was his reward for 6 years of service? a 60% pay cut. Just a couple of months later, Assistant Manager Bart De Roover resigned after two months of free work, due to the fact that a contact never materialised for the Belgian. Oyston has a history of bizarre offers, 3 years ago he offered Liverpool legend, Robbie Fowler, a mere £100 base salary. Needless to say, Fowler opted to reject the offer, like any sane man would.

    When you do have those players, it’s a good idea to make their jobs as easy as possible, by letting them solely focus on the football side of things, but not at Blackpool. Players regularly ate ready meals collected by senior staff on away days, hardly an athlete’s diet for players in the second tier. But then again, they’re probably the only club in the Championship that had to wash their own shirts, as the kit man is only allowed to work on match days. The lack of a kit man was probably the reason behind Joe Lewis having to wear a signed shirt set for a charity auction earlier this season.

    I’m sure I echo the sentiments of football fans country wide, in saying that I feel immense sympathy for the situation Blackpool fans are currently in. The club is run like a Sunday League pub team for the bottom upwards, with Oyston at the helm dragging the club to its knees. Unfortunately for the Tangerine Army, the FA are limited in what they can do to remove Oyston, as technically the family can spend Blackpool’s money as they wish. I hope that for the good of football, this situation can be resolved, but one thing’s for sure: I’m extremely glad that my club, Peterborough United, have a chairman as transparent as Darragh MacAnthony.

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    Re: Blackpool - a once proud club

    Post  Campo on Tue 05 May 2015, 1:21 pm

    Oyston is a bloody lunatic with cash, never a good combination

      Current date/time is Tue 24 Apr 2018, 1:24 pm