Joey Barton says he knows better than most what battling with the Oyston family is like and the Fleetwood Town boss is pleased to see the fans flocking back to their near neighbours Blackpool.
Barton, 36 forked out a £20,000 settlement fee after being sued for calling the Oystons “asset-strippers” in 2015.
A High Court judgement in 2017 saw Judge Marcus Smith condemn the family for “stripping the club” and now a receiver is in place at Blackpool to recoup the £25m Owen Oyston owes former director Valeri Belokon.
Barton says he could already sense a difference in atmosphere as he attended the Seasiders’ 2-1 win at Accrington on Tuesday.
He is pleased to see the fans get their club back but he hopes to do the double over Terry McPhillips’ fellow play-off chasers at a packed Bloomfield Road in six weeks.
Barton said: “I went to Accy v Blackpool to watch the game, like you do if you have a Tuesday off. It was a great atmosphere.
“It was great to see a full end and passionate fans supporting their team again. I say that as a football man and as someone who can relate to the
struggle at Blackpool because I was also sued by the Oystons.
“We have more in common than the average Blackpool fan thinks. It is good to see them back. At the end of the day your football fans are your
“No player dreams as a kid of playing in an empty stadium, with fans throwing tennis balls on and boycotting.
“To come through it the way they have is fantastic and I think it sets up a great derby experience for us at the back end of the season. I think it
could be a good day on the Fylde coast.
“Hopefully the sun is shining and we get the opportunity to do the double over them.
“It could be both of us trying to get into that final playoff spot. There could be a lot on the line. Hopefully they will keep doing well, we keep doing well and it sets up a great encounter in front of a near capacity crowd at Blackpool.”