FA reveals details of Oyston texts
The full details of Karl Oyston’s text exchange with a supporter were disclosed by the Football Association on Friday, with a spokesperson for a disability charity describing the language the Blackpool chairman used as “shocking”.
Earlier this month the FA punished the Blackpool chairman with a suspended six-week ban – due to begin on July 8 – fined him £40,000 and ordered him to take an education course following the abusive comments he made to supporter Stephen Smith in a text message conversation back in November.
On Friday the written reasons for Oyston’s charges were made public by the governing body, along with the messages which landed the 47-year-old with his punishment.
They included references to mental disability throughout several text messages to the supporter.
Daniel Mazliah, head of campaigns and communications at disability charity Scope, believes football supporters will be dismayed at those comments, made by a man who has served on the Football League’s board of directors.
“It’s pretty shocking that a senior figure in football has used such outdated and offensive language,” Mazilah said.
“Football fans, including the many disabled people who follow teams such as Blackpool, will be utterly appalled.
“It’s right that the FA has punished him. It sends an important message about the language we use.
“In the 20 years since the Disability Discrimination Act we’ve come a long way, but incidents like this show that we’ve still got a lot of work to do when it comes to attitudes towards disability.”
The messages first came to light prior to Christmas and Oyston had apologised for reacting to Smith, who had initiated the conversation and referred to him as a “financial retard”, after the chairman’s number was published on a social media website.
In a statement issued in December, Ismail Kaji, who works for the learning disability charity Mencap, said: “I am glad Karl Oyston has apologised but using the language that he used is never justified.
“I have a learning disability and am a big football fan but I would feel ashamed to support any football club that has a chairman who uses such unacceptable language to people with a disability.
“This language is just as bad as using racist or homophobic words and I hope the FA treats this as seriously.”
In the FA’s findings, it was also revealed that Oyston’s ban had been delayed until next month to permit him to devolve power to someone else, allowing the club to run during the transfer window in his absence.
From Yahoo Eurosport