Blackpool's situation 'avoidable' says unapologetic club owner

Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, at night

Karl Oyston has admitted that Blackpool's opening day embarrassment was avoidable, although he failed to apologise for the situation the club are in.

New head coach Jose Riga spent the majority of the summer attempting to compile a first-team playing squad in time for the opening day of the season.

He managed to achieve that feat, although he was left with just four players on the bench - including two youth scholars. However, the off-field problems have not been the fault of the recently appointed coach, who is being forced to work in a system that removes the majority of control from his hands.

He was refused the option to bring in his own management staff upon his appointment, and has been given little funds to work with for the recruitment of players, making him rely upon loans and free transfers to build the squad. And it is apparent that these problems are all being caused by one man - club chairman Karl Oyston.

Despite having been with the club since 1999, and overseeing the Seasiders' successful promotion to the Premier League in 2010, many fans are calling for him to leave the club, having left them in a state of ruin for the past few seasons, and although Oyston knows that this summer has been a backwards step, the businessman is refusing to accept the blame.

Writing in the Blackpool Gazette following the opening day defeat to Nottingham Forest, Oyston offered no apology for the way the club was being run, despite knowing that they should not be in the situation they are in.

He said: "Blackpool FC shouldn’t be in the position we find ourselves in at the moment and Saturday’s situation at the City Ground was both regrettable and avoidable.

"But I’ll start by making one thing clear, our secretary Chris Hough will take absolutely no responsibility for what happened.

"I’ve seen plenty of criticism levelled at him since the game at the weekend, but he was under instruction from me not to play anyone who wasn’t properly registered.

"The fact is that since the manager started work we’ve wasted several weeks on things we shouldn’t have for a number of reasons.

"That’s what caused the situation we had on Saturday.

"It was always important we hit the ground running with our preparations for the season and we didn’t do that.

"We wasted far too much time chasing targets we would never ever be able to recruit. In many cases, there were illegal requests from agents which would have meant us breaking tax and football rules. We are not prepared to conduct our business in that way."

Despite having signed enough players for opening day, a number of players missed the fixture due to international and Football League clearance having been delayed.

"Jose Miguel Cubero needs a work permit, which we’ve had to apply for. It’s not a simple process. It takes time and is totally outside our control. We can’t speed it up in any way.

"International clearance for Joan Oriol is exactly the same. Hopefully he will be available for Saturday, if not tonight.

"On Saturday morning we had to make sure we had the people in place with the proper registration.

"Celtic have been reinstated into the Champions League because Legia Warsaw fielded an ineligible player. That goes to show that these things have to be done properly.

"The situation with Ishmael Miller was slightly different, the Football League required clarification on something which meant he missed the deadline.

"While it wasn’t ideal to be in the situation we found ourselves on Saturday, the season is 46 games long and so it’s important we do things right."

The way Oyston has been running the seaside club has been out of a need to cost-cut to avoid the chance of administration. Whilst he may think that he is helping the club in the long run, the short-term future remains as fragile as it has ever been. And if he holds out too long before putting money back into Bloomfield Road, there may no longer be a club to save.

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