Karl Oyston: Blackpool chairman has no desire to quit

Karl Oyston
Karl Oyston has been at Blackpool for 17 years

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has insisted there is no desire to sell or for him to leave the League One side.

A number of Tangerines supporters have protested at the way Oyston and his father Owen, who is Blackpool's owner, have run the club in recent seasons.

They rejected Blackpool Supporters' Trust bid to buy the club in October, plus another from an unnamed party.

"At the moment there is no appetite to sell, there is no appetite to leave," Oyston, 47, told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"There is a massive appetite to deal with the problems we've got on and off the pitch.

"The 'on the pitch' ones are hopefully well on the way to repair and stability. The off-field problems, in some cases, may be repairable. In some cases, they may not."

Riga appointment 'a horrible mistake'

When Belgian Jose Riga arrived at Bloomfield Road as Blackpool's new manager in the summer of 2014, he had just guided Charlton to Championship safety.

The Seasiders had narrowly avoided relegation themselves that season and started the summer with just six first-team squad members.

"You shouldn't have regrets and you should learn from your mistakes, but I should have acted a lot sooner - probably within a couple of weeks of Jose starting at the club and realising we'd made a horrible mistake," added Oyston.

"We should've changed our position a lot earlier."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Jose Riga explains public sacking row at Blackpool

Riga assembled just eight professionals two weeks before their first league game at Nottingham Forest and publicly questioned Oyston's commitment to signing players.

He was sacked after one win in 15 games, shortly after Oyston admitted he had spoken to other managers while Riga was still in charge.

"There is no hiding from the fact that I'm in charge, I appoint the manager, I make the decisions and therefore I'm responsible for those decisions," continued Oyston.

"From my own point of view, the summer when we appointed Jose Riga was probably the real start of the descent into the precipice.

"We all had such high hopes of things working out and improving from that point, from a pretty low and poor base I have to say, and that went as badly wrong as it was possible to go."

Attempting to improve relationships

Blackpool fans
Blackpool fans have continued their protests towards the Oyston family this season

Blackpool, who were in the Premier League as recently as 2010-11, were relegated from the Championship last season and are currently 18th in League One, four points above the relegation zone.

More than 2,000 people protested before their final home game of last season against Huddersfield, with a pitch invasion later causing that match to be abandoned.

It was a continuation of a fractious relationship that has developed, with Oyston banned from all football activity for six weeks and fined £40,000 for sending abusive texts to a fan last summer.

Then in November, Owen and Karl Oyston each won £20,000 in damages after they were defamed by fan David Ragozzino on a website.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Talking made things worse - Oyston

Karl Oyston added: "I think I've made some pretty poor decisions and bad mistakes, not only related to the football but off the field, but it's well documented that I paid the price.

"I was more than happy to apologise for my responses to a supporter via text.

"It's taken a long time, probably a lot longer than I would've thought, and some of the damage will never be fully repaired."

However, Oyston has offered a number of supporters' groups the chance to meet him on 10 March in a bid to improve relationships between the boardroom and the fans.

"Each and every party will get the chance to deal with their agenda points, ask questions, answer questions and discuss things," he said.

"I've got particularly hostile feelings towards one or two individuals that I think have gone way above and beyond anything that's reasonable, but I think it does no harm for any of us to sit down, go through that and where the other side is coming from."

Top Stories