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The plight of basket case Blackpool FC is the direct antithesis of Huddersfield Town

Examiner Football Writer Blake Welton looks at the fortunes of both famous old clubs since their last meeting in May 2015

In a world of revolving doors, two years is a long time in football – particularly when contrasting fortunes of both Huddersfield Town and Blackpool FC.

The last time the two sides met was May 2015 – a SkyBet Championship encounter subsequently abandoned in the 48th minute as Blackpool supporters streamed on to the pitch in protest against their chairman, Karl Oyston.

While Town owner Dean Hoyle is revered in West Yorkshire, it is the polar opposite for his counterpart Oyston and his family on the Fylde Coast.

As well as enduring protests, the 49-year-old has experienced death threats and court battles as the Oystons have continued to ostracise themselves from their own fanbase.

 

 

It's a long drawn-out feud over the running of the football club which has seen the side plummet from the dizzy heights of the Premier League in 2011 to the bottom tier of English football in the space of just five years.

Some credibility was restored back in May when the Seasiders gained promotion to League One after beating Exeter City at Wembley during the Play-Off final.

Less than 24 hours later Christopher Schindler's spot-kick was sealing Huddersfield Town's promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history.

And while Blackpool have had eight managers in the space of just three-and-a-half years, Hoyle's appointment of a little known German head coach six months after the side's aborted Bloomfield Road clash has worked wonders over the past two years.

A Blackpool fan holds up a Oyston Out scarf during the SkyBet League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

 

David Wagner's success has seen Hoyle's popularity as local boy-done-good sky-rocket to astronomical proportions and his relationship with supporters further enhanced by a number of smart marketing initiatives including cheap season ticket deals.

In contrast, Blackpool fans are desperately trying to run their club owners out of their home town and potentially moved a step closer to that resolution yesterday.

It comes after the Oystons lost a High Court battle to minority shareholder Valeri Belokon, who accused the Oystons of treating the club as their own personal cash machine.

The family have been ordered to buy-out the Latvian businessman for £31m with an initial £10m instructed to be paid within 28 days.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Smith said the Oystons had "abused their majority powers to the detriment" of both Mr Belokon and Blackpool FC with the 'illegitimate stripping' of the club.

Fans protest before the Blackpool FC vs Huddersfield Town SkyBet Championship clash.

 

The 50 or so Blackpool fans who were present at the judgement cheered at the court verdict in the hope it will now eventually force a regime change at their beloved Seasiders.

Whether the Oystons decide to pay-up, take the decision to the Court of Appeal or to finally walk away, remains to be seen.

But whatever the eventual outcome in the latest chapter of this sorry saga, the current running and ownership of Huddersfield Town Football Club is the direct antithesis of what Oyston himself labelled basket case Blackpool.

Of course Town have suffered their own share of hardships in the not too distant past but whatever happens in the future, the club will be more than safe in Dean Hoyle's capable hands.

 

 

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