This page houses all the information about the on going problems at Blackpool FC. The aim of this page is to explain the situation at Blackpool FC, how the current situation came about and the current status.
There are sub sections and pages about some of the key people involved and events.
Blackpool fans have been protesting for years again the clubs owners the Oystons. They have loaned money out of the club to fund other Oyston business, started litigation against fans taking them to court. Many fans will not give a penny more to the Oystons and operate a NAPM policy (Not a penny more). Blackpool fans are hopeful that club president Valeri Belokon will take over the club, he is in legal action against the Oystons currently.
Owen Oyston is the current owner of Blackpool FC. Owen Oyston first became involved in the football club in 1987 when he bought a stake in Blackpool FC. A year later he became the owner of the club on the 31st of May 1988 when buying more shares in the club.
At the time Blackpool had just finished 10th in the third division, the next season they finished 1 point above the relegation zone.
In the 1989-90 season The club was relegated to the 4th division, return to the third tier came in the 1991-92 season with promotion in the play-offs Vs Scunthorpe United. Blackpool remained in the third Division for the next 8 seasons.
In February 1995 Owen Oyston was arrested with nine charges leveled against him. Four of those charges were for rape. He was acquired of the rape charge in a trail in Manchester in February 1996. A second trail in March 96 had the same outcome.
A third trail in the Liverpool Crown court began in April 1996, the jury found Owen Oyston guilty of Rape and indecent assault. We was jailed on 22nd of May 1996 for 6 years.
Oyston insisted his innocence and was refused parole after 3 years of his sentence – it was understood that he refused to admin guilt and responsibility.
He was released on parole on the 7th of December 1999 after serving 3 years and 6 months in jail. On release he was placed on the sex offenders register.
During his time in jail Owen Oyston resigned as chairman of Blackpool FC. His wife Vicky Oyston took over, until their son Karl Oyston took over as chairman on April the 3rd 1999.
Previous to his appointment Karl had worked at various Oyston businesses. He took over from his mum Vicky Oyston and at with his father Owen in jail still he was fully in charge of the running of the football club.
In the first season as chairman Blackpool were relegated to the fourth division under manager Nigel Worthington. New manager Steve McMahon steered the club back to third tier via the play-offs.
Early on Karl started the ball rolling with the re-development of Bloomfield Road. Previously Owen Oyston had plans of building a 40,000 sliding pitch and roof stadium outside of the town. In the end planning permission was given to replace the current ground.
It was a slow process with the South and West stands being demolished in 2000 and 2001 while the East and North remained. Two new stands were open in 2002 and the south remained opened with a temporary stand created in the East.
It wasn’t until March 2010 that the South stand was opened. almost 10 years since development work started. The east stand still remains a temporary structure but has remained closed only being used for larger away followings and press.
The majority of the money to pay for the redevelopment came from the Oystons but some did come from a Football Foundation grant around £2.5 million. Further money for the South stand came from Owen Oyston and Valeri Belokon.
Blackpool remained a stable mid-table league one side under McMahon and then Colin Hendry. Fortunes picked up with Simon Grayson in charge who guided the team to a play-off final win and to the second tier for the first time since the late 70’s. Two season in the Championship and then Ian Holloway came in along with investment from Valeri Belokon to buy players such as Charlie Adam and DJ Campbell
It was at this time problems started to arise. The players received bonuses around three months late after winning promotion and Charlie Adam had to go to court over an short-payment on his bonus.
In 2012 Karl Oyston was fined for dumping waste from the rebuilding of the South stand. He was fined £40,000.
Blackpool gained promotion to the Premier League for the 2010-11 season. The club would receive a large share of TV money and parachute payments after relegation. Karl Oyston stated that there would be a legacy from the time in the top flight.
Blackpool only remained in the top flight for one season, the first season back in the Championship ended in a play-off final again West Ham, a narrow loss was the last point in that high under manager Ian Holloway.
The next season Holloway left in November to take up a position at Crystal Palace. After his time at Blackpool Holloway commented as the legacy at the club.
I haven’t left much of a legacy, that was my biggest worry really. If you look at it, all that is different now from when I arrived are some sprinklers for the pitch. – Ian Holloway
Blackpool had a good start to the season winning 4 for the first 6 games. Ian Holloway was replaced by Michael Appleton who only won 2 of his 12 games in charge. He left in January the 11 and it wasn’t until the 18th of February that Paul Ince was confirmed as manager, at the time his son Tom Ince was Blackpool star player.
beyond to come later…
Litigation against fans
The exact numbers and details of all the ligation / defamation proceedings are not exact. There have been two different legal affairs against fans. The first relating to the pitch invasion at the Huddersfield game and the second related to defamation – statements that fans had mad online or in statements.
One fan was jailed for 26 weeks for threatening behaviour when he stormed from the pitch to the directors box, the fans also damaged a security camera at an away game and let a smoke bomb off at a train station.
A second fan was given a suspended sentence for threatening behaviour
The defamation proceedings there are four notable cases
David Ragozzino had to pay £20,000 to Karl Oyston and Owen Oyston and £1,000 to the Club. Details of the case over at http://www.simkins.com/foul-play-by-football-fan-who-posted-defamatory-comments-online/
Stephen Sharpe apologized posting defamatory comments on an internet forum – made a £5,000 donation to the Blackpool FC Community Trust.
Former chair of the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, Tim Fielding made an online apology over comments he made.
There have been numerous attempts to request that the the Oystons stop cases against fans however after saying cases would be stopped they continued.
Judgment Day has been a protest held since Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston asked fans to judge how the team did at the end of the 2014-15 season.
But my message is simple – judge us at the end of the season, not now. – Karl Oyston August 2014
Blackpool were relegated with six games to go, ending on 26 points, 20 points from safety and only won 4 games all season.
Judgement Day 1
The first judgement day took place on the 2 May 2015 when Blackpool played Huddersfield Town. Blackpool had already been relegated from the Championship. A protest march led fans up Bloomfield Road and then to outside of the ground. An estimated 2000 fans joined the march.
Coverage of the march can be seen in the video below from Copa90.
During the game and into the second half fans invaded the pitch and the game was abandoned after 48 minutes with the game at 0-0. The video below shows highlights from the match and the pitch invasion.
Judgement Day 2
A year on from the first judgement day the second judgement day took place on the 30th April 2016 again at a home game, the game was against Wigan with Blackpool fighting against a another relegation.
This time around 3000 fans marched from the town centre along the promenade to the ground.
Blackpool lost 4-0 moving them closer to relegation. A plane flew above the ground at kick off with the message.
Oystons club killers get out now
Blackpool were relegated from League One at the end of the season.
Judgement Day 3
The third judgement day took place against Leyton Orient on Saturday the 6th of May. Blackpool required a win to secure a play-off place, while Leyton Orient had already been relegated.
The previous week Leyton Orient’s fans had invaded the pitch again Colchester United forcing the game to be abandoned for two hours. As a result in the week before the Blackpool game tickets sales were stopped while security was reviewed, allocation was reduced for away fans.
Blackpool fans had already started planning for JD3 weeks in advanced and had asked fans of other clubs to join, including Leyton Orient fans.
An estimated 4,000 fans attended the march along the front then to the ground. Joining the Blackpool fans were fans from around the country
Valērijs Belokoņs is the President of Blackpool football club and has a 20% stake in the club via his company Belokoņs Holdings and VB Football Assets. The original investment came in 2006 when Blackpool were in the championship. At the time Belokons predicted Blackpool would be in the Premier league in 5 years.
In 2008 investment from both Belokons and Owen Oyston provided funds for the building of the South Stand.
The next year in 2009 Valērijs Belokoņs setup a transfer fund for then manager Ian Holloway, the money is thought to have help transfers for Charlie Adam and DJ Campbell.
Those signings helped Blackpool reach the Premier League 1 year short of Belokons five year target.
In recent years problems emerged between Belokons and the Oystons due to multiple reasons including the running of the club, and a disagreement about investment paying back.
In February 2017 the high court in Manchester ruled in favour of Belokon in a court case related to in the investment he made in the South Stand.
The court ruled that the Oystons will be forced to pay back a minimum of £2 million back to Belokon.
After the case in March the board of directors at Blackpool decided to suspend Valērijs Belokoņs from the board at Blackpool citing a judgement from the Paris Court of Appeal of the French Republic, dated February 21, 2017, holds major concerns about the damning findings that two banks in Latvia and Kyrgyzstan, founded and/or owned by Valeri Belokon, had been involved in large scale money laundering and/or tax evasion
In June 2017 a second court case is due to take place between the two in London – a £10 million legal case.
http://www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com/ – Blackpool Supporters Trust
https://www.facebook.com/tangerineknightssupport/ – Tangerine Knights
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