The Blackpool Supporters Trust (BST) have been lobbying the English Football League (EFL) over a long period about the conduct of the Oyston family, who are current owners of Blackpool Football Club. BST have pointed to a litany of mismanagement including the systematic removal of funding from the football club and, latterly, the Oyston's appetite for litigating against supporters who criticise them in public. The English Football League (EFL) have constantly failed to act, arguing that the matters of concern raised lay beyond their powers to do so. Recent lobbying by BST has been met with platitudes and excuses.
On 6 November 2017, the High Court found in favour of Mr Valeri Belokon, a minority shareholder in the club, who successfully argued that he had suffered prejudice at the hands of the Oystons during their business relationship.
In a damning judgement, Judge Marcus Smith condemned the Oystons as unreliable witnesses who had removed over £26 million from the club for non-footballing purposes after its one year in the Premier League in 2010-11.
Blackpool FC has become a by-word in the football community for mismanagement and crisis, and yet after a period several years, nothing has been done. The EFL shows no sign that it understands what its leadership role in this area should be, and as it clearly can’t - or won’t - rise to the challenge, then we feel that the Government must step in to lead the process of fundamental reform that is clearly needed.
Football clubs are too precious, and too much a part of the fabric of our national life, to be left to the mercy of unregulated and often unscrupulous ownership. They need the protection of a robust regulatory framework that offers a range of sanctions against wrongdoers, mechanisms that allow problems to be confronted before they become deep-rooted and a governing body that has the desire to use it.
- If you think that the Government should take ownership of this issue away from the EFL ; and
- If you think the Government should begin a process of complete regulatory overhaul
The petition is currently under review by the government's e-Petition team, once approved the link to sign will shown below. Today, it is Blackpool FC. Help us get action now to avoid it ever being your club.