Losing 6-1 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday might not have been the worst thing to happen to Blackpool over the weekend.
It’s been all of four months since the last text message scandal to hit English soccer, but Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston apparently didn’t take the hint about the dangers of digital communication. He appears to be the latest prominent figure to have offensive text messages revealed via the media.
A fan named Steve Smith texted Oyston “to get answers about his running of the club.” The exchange reportedly degenerated, with Oyston calling the supporter “a massive retard” and an “intellectual cripple” and telling him to “enjoy the rest of your special needs day out.”
Considering the club was in the Premier League in 2010-11 but is now at the bottom of the Championship — not surprising since in this summer it only had eight players, none of them a goalkeeper — it’s fair to say relations between Oyston and the fanbase were already strained.
Then there was the matter of the 11 million pound ($17 million) bonus paid to one of the directors at the end of the club’s Premier League relegation season. A certain Owen Oyston (Karl’s dad, majority shareholder, multimillionaire former head of Miss World and convicted rapist) was the beneficiary of a sum that amounted, the Daily Mail said, to more than the wages of the entire first team and manager.
Karl Oyston’s weekend of customer disservice only adds to the impression in Blackpool that the Oyston family don’t care about the fans and treat the club like their personal ATM. And since even the club’s president thinks that, the supporters may well have a point.
But it’s unlikely Blackpool FC will be a lucrative source of income for the Oystons once it’s in the third division, as it surely will be next year.