Long-suffering Blackpool fans have launched a bid to buy the football club from its current owners, the Oyston family. In a letter to Mr Oyston this morning, they outline their bid to buy the club...
Dear Mr Oyston,
Included with this document is a ‘letter of intent’ setting out a bid by Blackpool Supporters’ Trust to buy Blackpool Football Club, as well as the rationale for the bid.
The action you take in responding to this bid is just as important to the future of the football club as was your decision to buy the Club for £1 in 1987.
The question now facing you and your family is whether you still care enough about the well-being and reputation of Blackpool FC to sell it (i.e. your complete shareholding in Segesta) to the Trust for just over £16 million.
The Club is now perceived to be in such a parlous state that our members have decided it is better to offer to buy our club back by giving you as many of the assets as possible than it is to continue with the Oystons in charge. The actions taken by Karl during the last four years have ensured that any good that you and your family may have done for the club has been entirely negated and rendered worthless. You have lost the goodwill and the confidence of the supporters and indeed the people of the Fylde Coast.
The Supporters’ Trust has put together a bid that will give over to you almost every asset that the business currently has. In return, the Trust will retain only the stadium (including hotel, gym etc.), the training ground, enough money to ensure a budget of approximately £3 million each year for the next two seasons, and of course the team and its history. We would thus reduce the football club to its most basic form whilst still allowing it the possibility to thrive and eventually flourish.
This bid will, we hope, begin the process of negotiation that will lead to your honourable departure from the club. You have an opportunity to rectify a dreadful situation and so bring an end to the enmity and despair that has engulfed Blackpool FC in recent years. If you care at all about your legacy and wish to avoid the ignominy with which your stewardship of the club is becoming tainted, then we ask that you take the truly courageous and selfless decision to sell the club to the Trust and thereby prevent any further damage being done to Blackpool FC, its reputation and its future prospects.
If negotiations are successful then the club will take on a new form in that it will be run by the Supporters’ Trust in combination with the best professional help that we can afford, for the benefit of local people, local businesses, the wider community of Blackpool fans and with the express intent of putting football first.
Any outright rejection of this bid will be taken as final confirmation that you no longer have any intention to promote or ensure the well-being of the club or the community that supports it.
We would ask that you make a formal reply to this bid by 21 July 2015.
Secretary, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust
The FSF blog is the space to challenge perceived wisdom, entertain readers and inform our members. The views expressed are those of the author and they don't necessarily represent FSF policy and (pay attention journalists) shouldn't be attributed to the FSF.
Thanks to Jon Candy for the image used here, reproduced here under CC licence.