Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston could face FA probe over foul-mouthed text rant
Karl Oyston, the Blackpool chairman, could face a Football Association investigation after allegedly sending abusive text messages to a supporter.
A fan contacted Oyston to question the running of the Championship’’s bottom club, whose season hit a new low with a 6-1 home defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday.
Oyston, right, allegedly responded with a series of abusive messages – and if the allegations are proven then his position on the Football League Board is likely to come under threat.
A number of members of the Football League Board have been embroiled in controversy over the past 12 months.
In September the non-executive chairman Greg Clarke was accused of “hiding behind excuses” after not bringing up the Rooney Rule at the Football League’s AGM despite having promised Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief executive, he would do so.
Shaun Harvey, the chief executive, was accused by Ofcom of being at the centre of “unfair and unjust” broadcasts amounting to “harassment” made by Leeds United’s in-house radio station, Yorkshire Radio, while he was the club’s chief executive.
Matt Porter was forced to step down from his board position in October, three months after he was appointed, when he resigned from his role as a director of Leyton Orient.
Oyston could now face an investigation after he allegedly branded the businessman Steve Smith “a retard” and an “intellectual cripple” in comments that have brought a stinging rebuke from Lord Herman Ouseley, the chairman of Kick It Out. Oyston is reported by The Sun as telling the father of three: “Sorry your life is so s—-, but that’s only your fault not mine. Enjoy the rest of your special needs day out.” It is claimed that he then asks: “Are you sure we’ve met? I’m sure I’d have remembered such a massive retard. Impossible to have a meaningful conversation with such a f—tard as you.”
Smith, who claims he has now been banned from the ground, responded: “As a chairman you should respond in a polite manner.”
His view was echoed by Ouseley, who said: “It’s always disappointing wherever this type of language comes from, obviously it carries a greater degree of worry when it comes from the higher echelons.
“Someone like Mr Oyston is supposed to set the standard and the tone for the organisation. And if that’s the nature, conduct and views of the person who runs the club it suggests they are comfortable and content with such conduct which is unacceptable. There are lots of words used carelessly that are very insulting and offensive to disabled people. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, even if you are responding to someone abusing you.”
A spokesman for the learning disability charity Mencap also took issue with Oyston’s alleged choice of words. “I would feel ashamed to support any football club that has a chairman who uses such disgusting language to people with a disability,” he said. “This language is just as bad as using racist or homophobic words.”
The spokesman continued that if Oyston is found to have used such words, “the chairman must apologise to the people who will have been deeply affected by the language aimed at them. This cannot be ignored.”
Fiona Martin, acting chair of the Blackpool Supporters Association, said: “Karl Oyston’s comments to one of our supporters are completely unacceptable for any person to make, let alone someone in his position as chairman of Blackpool and a member of the Football League board. This is another shameful episode, during a shambolic season, which not only reflects badly on the whole club but is also deeply offensive. Karl Oyston should apologise immediately.”
The FA said that it was aware of the alleged text exchange but declined to comment further. Oyston, as yet, has not commented either.
From the Telegraph