By Bulldog Drummond
I have left the issue of the crisis at Blackpool FC until now in the vague hope that I might be able to discover a definitive report or two but I’m struggling to know exactly what’s what. So if there are errors in this, please do put me right, ideally with some source of evidence.
Basically in November 2017, all of Blackpool FC including the ground and other properties it owns was offered for sale by its owners, the Oyston family. No one seems to want to buy it, and of late there appears to have been a split in the family as Karl Oyston, son of the infamous Owen Oyston left the club, and as far as I can tell all Oyston business activities. OO’s daughter Natalie Christopher was put in charge.
And Blackpool could include Marc Bola who came through from the Arsenal academy
A victory for us with mean we are in the quarter finals for the third consecutive year – you might recall we had fun beating Reading 2-0 in 2016/17 and Norwich in 2017/18 (2-1). The last time that Blackpool caused an upset was a 3-1 win over Chelsea (then under R. Gullit, in the League Cup in September 1996.
But there is going to be a difference tonight. When we play teams from the lower leagues in the cups we are used to the whole lower clock end being filled with fans having a jolly day out – supporting their team with great noise and vigour even though the odds on winning are very very small. We’ve already seen that this season.
However instead of the 7500 or so that make up the lower clock end allocation, Blackpool have taken just 1,300 tickets, at leats according to the Blackpool Gazette, which may or may not be a valuable source of information. They continue, “The majority of those will be season ticket holders or family and friends of the players. There is still a boycott in place of the clubs game and so many people will not be travelling to London for the game.”
This boycott started in 2015 after it was alleged that the club loaned £100m that it got from the Premier League season to other companies owned by the Oyston group. Of course I don’t have any information to say if that is so.
They do go to away games normally, but because in this match, 45% of the gate money goes to the away club (a standard cup rule) that would mean giving money to Oyston, so they won’t go. According to a report in the Independent there are around 10,000 supporters now avoiding matches.
In 1996 Oyston senior was imprisoned for rape, serving three years inside. This means he is no longer a fit and proper person to be a club director of a Premier League club – although he ignored this ruling and just stayed there.
- Arsenal v Blackpool: the injury situation, and our game against them in the Premier League
- Arsenal v Blackpool: team selection thoughts and our opponents