The BST committee appreciates members’ concern about Wednesday evening’s meeting with Jonathan Disley and would like to set the record straight regarding some of the comments, reactions and misinformation which have been spread on social media over the last 18 hours.
BST always agrees to meet with individuals or groups who express an interest in buying into BFC and who ask to meet with the Trust (regardless of who they are). We have a mandate from you, our members, to do so.
Sometime such meetings happen at as little as four hours’ notice. Sometimes we are asked to sign an NDA and sometimes not.
It is the most effective way to:
a) assess the nature of the individual and the nature of their interest
b) explain the true situation at Blackpool – which comes as an eye-opener to some
c) state the values of the Trust and our aspirations for the club
d) reiterate our members’ ‘line in the sand’ concerning the need for the current owners to depart absolutely.
There have been several such meetings since the club was formally put up for sale. None of them have ever come to anything. We don’t routinely publicise the fact but did so on this occasion to pre-empt an imminent leak to social media about the meeting taking place.
On Wednesday 8th August, Tim Fielding was contacted by an acquaintance who had in turn been asked by Jonathan Disley if he could meet with representatives of BST. This was put to the committee and it was agreed that we would meet with Mr Disley.
A time was agreed for Wednesday evening and it was decided that the attendees should be Tim Fielding (as the original invitee and Honorary VP of BST), Steve Rowland (past Chair of BST and current Secretary), Christine Seddon (Chair of BST) and Andy Higgins (Deputy Chair of BST). Mr Higgins was not able to attend and so the other three met with Mr Disley.
BST made it clear at the outset that it reserved the right to advise BST members and the wider fanbase that the meeting was taking place. Mr Disley stated that we would need to sign NDAs from the outset or he would not be able to discuss anything with us at all. A verbal agreement was reached that if we signed the NDAs we would agree a joint statement which could be put out to our members and the wider public.
Yesterday morning, BST duly sent the draft statement to Mr Disley for agreement over the wording and eventually received a response suggesting we shouldn’t release a statement at all. Meanwhile individuals were asking questions about the meeting and it was only a matter of time before speculation erupted on social media. As such we felt we had no option other than to release the limited statement published last night.
As already stated, BST has a remit to attend such meetings and if required, to do so subject to a non-disclosure agreement. When an opportunity arises to investigate a situation which is of grave concern to us all, it would have been remiss of us not to do so, particularly in light of the lack of information currently available as to the state of play as between the Oyston family and Latvia. It helps us strategise on behalf of the Trust even if we can't always share what was discussed.
There is absolutely no truth to the suggestions being made that we were there to do any kind of deal or to endorse Mr Disley in any way. If there were ever anything material to be agreed regarding BST’s stance, it would be by approval of the majority of our members in a transparent and democratic fashion.
We hope you appreciate that what we do is always in the best interests of our members, the wider fanbase and the football club that we have in common..
In the circumstances, it is more important than ever that the protest tomorrow is well supported by all sections of the fanbase. Our campaign is proving effective. United we stand etc.