The Oyston's #2
The second of our debates about the Oyston family.
We present to you the case for the Oyston's involvement in Blackpool FC.
We thank forum member Crossy for the article.
The Oyston's #2
The name OYSTON has been linked with Blackpool FC since 1987. This was the year 43-year-old estate agent and magazine publisher OWEN Oyston purchased a large stake in the club, the following year, Owen became the clubs new owner.
Since then we have had three Oystons Captaining the ship.
The club was on the slide. Relegation from the then 2nd Division in 1978 was hard hitting. A number of top players left and in 1981 with World Cup Hero Alan Ball in charge, relegation to the basement league ensued.
In 1983 'Pool finished in their lowest ever position - 21st in the 4th Division and the embarrassment of seeking re-election.
Pools fortunes in the next years were mixed; a Promotion to the 3rd Division was followed by 3 years of mid table finishes and another relegation to the 4th.
Then, in Dec 1990 Owen brought in a man called BILLY AYRE. Probably Owens greatest signing. 'King' Billy guided the team to a fifth-placed finish and qualification for the play offs. Pool lost only five of their thirty league games that remained at the time of Ayre's appointment. The run included thirteen consecutive home wins in an eventual 24-game unbeaten run at Bloomfield Road. Promtion was narowly missed as Pool lost to Torquay on penalties.
The following season finished with Blackpool in fourth place, missing out on automatic promotion by one point, which meant another play-off experience. King Billy ensured this time we would be succesful, beating Scunthorpe on a penalty shoot out.
Another play-off semi final place was secured in 1996; Pool went down 3-2 to Bradford City.
A new era was dawning. The good times were about to start (though at this stage who would have believed it??). Karl Oyston took the keys to the club in March 1999, and Steve McMahons services were hired. Initially we were relegated; the following season though saw us leave league 2 for good as we again secured Promotion via the Play-offs (another local club should take note), coupled with two visits to the MilStad followed securing two LDV Van Trophy wins.
'Progress' was slowly taking shape at Bloomfield Road as Karl oversaw the building of the North and West stands.
He was also building the finances.
When Karl took the reigns the finances were awful. Only now are we told just HOW bad they were.
Karl tells us he ALMOST wound the club up when he saw the accounts, however, and thankfully so, he didn't. Instead the club was given a reprieve. A number of astute signings and property deals no doubt helped...to the point now where, we are led to believe, the Football Club is almost self funding.
In 2006 further finanical strenghthening was made when Latvian multi-millionniare banker, Valeri Belekon bought 20% of the Football Club, this has recently been increased to a reported 50%.
Administration, a word banded about most carelessly in todays fotball world, is not part of the Blackpool FC/Oyston psychy... unlike some local teams who have reported losses of £183,000 A WEEK.
With Karl/Valeri at the helm, its unlikely that the club will fold. Fingers crossed anyway!
Karl was instrumental in making ex-player, Simon Grayson Pools new boss in November 2005.
Karl backed Simon with players and stood by him when all others, fans and board alike were calling for 'Larrys' head.
Quite simply, Grayson after keeping Pool in League 1, was 1 or 2 games from being fired in the opening few months of the 2006 season.
He wasn't and the rest is history.
Karl has his faults - who hasn't?
Love him or loathe him (and Karl seems to relish the latter) there is NO denying just HOW FAR Blackpool FC has travelled in the last 10 years, with Karl Oyston in charge.
Sure its been a bumpy ride, we aren't there (wherever 'there' is) yet and I'm sure there are far more 'bumps and dips' yet to come.
The 'Progress' may be measured, some may say slow...but it IS moving on. The new South is starting to look less like a wildlife sanctuary and more like a building site and the team finished in their highest position since 1977.
Ultimately, there is not a queue of moneymen wanting to take over. The Oystons are all we have... lets make the most of it.
The future's bright.
Up the 'Pool.