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Fans unite outside Liverpool court against Blackpool owners

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

This week, Blackpool’s unpopular owners dropped a six-figure libel action against one of the club’s fans at Liverpool Civil & Family Court.

Members of FSF affiliates the Spirit of Shankly (Liverpool) & The Blue Union (Everton) were there to offer their support to Seasiders.

FSF NC member and head of the Blue Union Dave Kelly said: “We’re here because we’re part of the football family, if it’s their fight it’s our fight.”

Blackpool’s owners, the Oyston family, had launched a libel suit against one of their own fans for demonstrating at Bloomfield Road. The Oystons said they were dropping the action as an act of conciliation.

However, Blackpool fans dispute this version of events – arguing that the action was only dropped after it become clear the suit would be unsuccessful in court.

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust said: “The official club statement appears to suggest that the case against Jeremy was dropped in a spirit of goodwill. 

“This was no act of benevolence. Just a couple of days ago, the Oystons applied to have Jeremy’s defence struck out and to increase their claim for damages from £25,000 to £250,000.

“These are not the actions of people who have realised that they simply should never have started such damaging litigation in the first place.

“The fact that the Oystons have been left with a very hefty bill for all costs suggests that they had no option but to drop a suit that need never have been brought.

“This appears to be a case of the Oystons acting in their own best interests rather than those of the club or its supporters.”

Thanks to Jon Candy for the image used in this article. Reproduced here under CC license.

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