Trust calls for ‘real action’ over Oyston record

Blackpool fans believe the FA have no power to deal with the big issues at Bloomfield Road - despite Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston being handed a six week ban from football.

Oyston is facing a six-week ban from all football activity (July 8-August 18) and a £40,000 fine, having admitted five FA charges of aggravated misconduct after sending insulting text messages to Stephen Smith last year.

In the texts, made public in December, Oyston referred to Smith as a “retard” and told him to “enjoy your special needs day out”.

The punishment was handed down by an independent arbitration panel.

But Blackpool Supporters Trust are frustrated charges can’t be brought against Oyston over his stewardship of the club.

Spokesman Christine Seddon hopes the conclusion to the text row will focus minds on those other issues.

She said: “A lot of fans were hoping the book would be thrown at Mr Oyston.

“A few of us were more realistic and knew there wasn’t going to be anything like a lifetime ban.

“Everybody has been focused on the text exchange but now it’s time to look at the bigger picture.

“It’s disappointing the FA don’t appear able to take real action on ownership issues in football. Instead they are limited to handing out small bans and fines like this.”

BST appealed to the FA to force Oyston to improve facilities for the disabled at Bloomfield Road as part of the sanctions.

Seddon added: “We asked the FA for measures to be included linked to disabled facilities at the ground because they are not acceptable. Sadly that has not happened but at least he has been punished.”

Oyston has not been barred from Bloomfield Road but he cannot attend any matches there during the six weeks of his ban. He must remain outside the stadium for two hours before and after any fixtures.

The chairman, who must attend his education session before October 10, is entitled to appeal against his punshment.

The Gazette asked Blackpool FC who would take control during Oyston’s ban, but the club was unable to provide an answer.