BREAKING: Oystons drop fan defamation case

Blackpool Football Club owners Karl and Owen Oyston dropped their defamation case against a fan on the day it was due to be heard in a Liverpool courtroom.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 12:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:04 pm

Supporter Jeremy Smith was sued by club owner Owen and chairman Karl after he held aloft a front page of the Gazette with an Owen Oyston interview stating “We are not thieves,” which had been doctored.

While some media outlets carried a picture of Mr Smith holding aloft the page. The Gazette did not use the image.

As the defamation case was about to start, with Blackpool fans protesting against the Oystons outside the court, the case was dropped.

A statement from the club was issued and says: “Following lengthy discussions between majority shareholder Owen Oyston and Chairman Karl Oyston, it has been agreed that to continue a case against supporter Jeremy Smith is not in the best interests of the club or wider support base.

“The club has been encouraged and coerced by the FPG and BSA to do all in its power, where possible, to cease legal action against any supporters of the club.

“Both Owen Oyston and Karl Oyston consider Jeremy Smith to be a life-long fan who, along with his parents, has supported the football club over many years.

“It is accepted that the club’s supporters may sometimes air their views inappropriately, and those expressions are borne from the same frustrations the club’s owners bear.

“Owen Oyston recently made a commitment to supporters during an open meeting that no new legal actions would be taken by the club. At the meeting Owen Oyston was made acutely aware that existing court actions should be settled, where possible. He explained that this was a two-way street understanding that needed to be supported by all supporters’ groups.

“This statement is a signal to all supporters that the club will look to conclude legal matters so that all of us can concentrate on the future and not rake over the past, which has been counter-productive and damaging to us all. The club urges all supporters, both those attending matches and those choosing not to, to now support the manager and players to achieve success once more.”