Thank you for your email of 18 May. Let me say at the outset that I sympathise with you and your colleagues over the trials and tribulations suffered by Blackpool supporters.
When the Club was promoted to the Premier League (PL) in 2010, Owen Oyston failed our Owners’ and Directors’ Test (ODT) because of his criminal conviction and the sentence imposed in 1996. I should clarify that the application of the ODT does not automatically result in a Club being ineligible to play in the PL.
Once Mr Oyston had been disqualified, the PL Executive informed the Club that he must play no part in the management of Blackpool FC, must cease to act as a Director and must divest himself of his majority shareholding.
Discussions and correspondence with the Club and in particular with Karl Oyston, the Chairman, continued during Season 2010/11 and we considered proposals from him as to how our decision could be complied with. We were led to believe that Owen Oyston was in the process of transferring his shares but were later informed that this had not yet taken place. He and the Club were told that the decision had to be complied with but, unfortunately, we ran out of time and at the stage at which we would have taken disciplinary action, the Club was relegated to the Championship.
Once the Club returned to the Championship, our jurisdiction ceased and it became a matter for the EFL. On reflection, learning from the ‘Blackpool experience’, if a similar situation were to occur again we would press the EFL to continue and conclude the process initiated by the PL. It will be of little comfort to you and your Blackpool supporting colleagues, but we have coordinated and aligned with the EFL on a number of Club ownership matters since 2010.
I note that you have been in discussions with the EFL and I anticipate that you have been informed that they take a different view of the ODT, in that they do not believe it is appropriate to apply the Test to disqualifying events taking place before the date when the Test was introduced.
As far as any return to the PL is concerned, the Club was informed in 2011 that, in the event of a promotion, the Club would be given until the start of that particular Season to resolve the issue. If it was not resolved, we would commence disciplinary proceedings to enforce our decision.
I hope the above assists you and that you and your colleagues are able to look forward to a brighter future as the new Season approaches.
Executive Chairman, The Premier League