Lancashire

Third Blackpool fan in libel apology to Oyston family

Karl Oyston Image copyright PA
Image caption Karl and Owen Oyston have several libel actions against fans

A third Blackpool supporter sued by the club's owner Owen Oyston and chairman Karl Oyston has apologised for comments made on the internet.

Frank Knight, who published his apology on the website Facebook, is also paying £20,000 damages to the Oystons.

The family is seeking £150,000 damages for allegedly defamatory comments on the Back Henry Street website.

Karl Oyston is being investigated by the Football Association over abusive texts sent to a Blackpool supporter.

In a statement published on his Facebook page, Mr Knight, 67, said he apologised for the "harm, distress and financial losses my comments have caused both BFC and the Oystons".

He added: "I note that the combined net assets value at cost of Segesta [a company that operates the club and its stadium] and BFC were £32 million as at May 2014, compared with -£42,000 as at May 1987, when the Oystons took over BFC.

Image copyright Facebook

"I accept the Oyston family's main objective is, and always has been, for the financial stability and success for, and of, BFC."

Football fans around the country have responded to an appeal on a crowd-funding website to help pay the pensioner's damages.

A total of £2,795 has been raised in the last 24 hours with Blackpool supporters joined by fans of clubs ranging from Liverpool to Middlesbrough and non-league teams such as FC United and Stockport County.

In February Tim Fielding, a director of a personal injuries law firm and the former chair of the Blackpool Supporters' Trust apologised for comments he had made.

Earlier that month, dozens of Blackpool fans attended a court hearing in Manchester for a separate legal action brought by the Oystons against a fan.

David Ragozzino, 32, was given 21 days to respond to a claim for damages from the club. He is due to meet with the club next week.

On 30 January another fan, Stephen Sharpe, apologised to the Oystons over his online comments, withdrawing his posts after accepting they were "false, defamatory and, in some cases, threatening".

Blackpool supporters have been involved in demonstrations, match boycotts and social media campaigns over the way Oyston family run the club.

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