CLUB IS A JOKE - ARE YOU HAPPY, KARL?
PETER Clarke is no mug. So when the Blackpool skipper blamed his side’s pitiful demise on a chaotic pre-season, he was clearly being diplomatic.
Everyone – including Clarke – knows the real villain of the piece. When chairman Karl Oyston texted a supporter to say he was on a “neverending nightmare revenge mission” to send Blackpool to the Conference, most put it down as tasteless banter.
Now, after the limpest surrender in Championship history, it looks increasingly like a statement of intent.
Since the day Blackpool hit the Premier League jackpot with that miraculous promotion under Ian Holloway in 2010, money has poured out of Bloomfield Road.
As just one example, Owen Oyston – Karl’s dad and owner of the club – paid himself an £11m salary for one season’s work, justifying the cash as recompense for earlier financial support.
Investment in the football club has dwindled and died. The pitch is a boggy mess, unfit for parks football. Transfer fees are a thing of the past. This season, the Tangerines have used an incredible 51 players – all but a handful loans or free transfers.
When Barry Ferguson kept Blackpool up last year, it looked like a narrow escape. From Oyston’s point of view, it was more likely a costly mistake. If you don’t want to fund a football club, life is a lot cheaper in the lower leagues.
There’s nothing illegal about Oyston’s behaviour. He’s got the keys, and the codes to the bank account. He can do what he wants.
But if this shameless individual really is milking Blackpool to death, the least he could do is be honest about it. Then those loyal supporters could watch AFC Blackpool instead of pouring cash into the pockets of a man who has turned their club into a laughing stock.