Whenever I write an article about Blackpool I always seem to use the analogy that their life in the football league is like being on a roller coaster. Well now it seems they have gone up the lift hill and are about to hit the exultation that a roller coaster has to offer as despised owner Owen Oyston has been removed from the board of directors. Along with his daughter Natalie Christopher meaning there are no more Oystons left at this historical club.
When I last wrote about Blackpool’s troubles with their owner just over a year ago, I felt that things were coming to an end then. It may have taken another year of confusion, frustration and downright annoyance but Blackpool fans have got their wish with receivers being issued to the club to strip the assets away from Oyston and owe former director Valeri Belokon the money he is owed.
It means that you can expect a joyous occasion when Blackpool are next at home against Southend on 9th March as many fans will be returning to Bloomfield Road where they have opted to stay away from so that Owen, or any Oyston family member for that matter, does not receive a single penny of their money.
Many feel this saga should have been put to bed many moons ago but Owen has dug his heels in on many occasions and refused to sell the club as he felt he was the best person in charge. Was this provocative? Was it delusion? Who knows! However, what is true is that he will no longer be in charge of the Seasiders and the division he has created between fans will hopefully have come to an end.
As stated the majority of fans have stayed away from Bloomfield Road due to the Oyston ownership and how they have treated fans over the years. From suing supporters to abusing them via texts to breaking data protection laws; too be honest the list is endless. However, a minority chose to stay and support the club. They may not have agreed with the regime in charge but felt it was their duty to still watch their side at home.
I myself thought that there was a time for reconciliation between the fans and the Oystons back in 2012 but I was naïve in thinking that the Oystons, former chairman Karl in particular, were going to change their ways in how they run a football club. They cut corners and made Blackpool a laughing stock for visiting fans. It says a lot about a family when, the son Karl, has taken his own father to court over a wage dispute. Owen must have forgotten the £11 million he was paid by his son back in 2012.
As much as there is sympathy for the fans and they are the main concern of a football club, there is also a lot of sympathy for the players and the manager. They have suffered all season but soldiered onto try and make a play off charge despite being caught up in this war. Terry McPhillips has done an excellent job with the Seasiders and will more than likely be treated with more love after being pictured with a “Blackpool are back” scarf.
The same sympathy goes out to certain ex-players and certain ex managers who have felt the full force of the Oystons incompetency. For example the players who had to wait until August for their Premier League pay outs or ex managers who had to pay for their own training facilities or forced to play trialists days before the opening game of a season. Again the list is endless.
The old saying “the grass isn’t always greener” comes to mind with the Oystons finally leaving but that is the pessimist in me. It will be a tough struggle but has it not already been one? The fans have been subject to quite enough and the feeling is that things can only get better from here…and the grass on the pitch should only get greener.