Sam Oyston, son of Blackpool owner Karl, has been made to pay £20,000 in damages and has issued an apology after accusing a fan he was a thief over social media.
Karl Oyston’s son is the manager of the club’s hotel and wrongly alleged that fan Andy Grice was a thief in February last year on his twitter feed regarding Mr Grice’s time working at the Paris Casino, situated down the road from Bloomfield Road.
Oyston said: “@andy grice…How come you left the casino? Or is it a touchy subject? #stickyfingers”
His allegation came after an incident in June 2013, when Paris Casino boss Pierre Coulon was convicted of rigging a roulette game to allow a friend to win £500.
Following the message, Mr Grice asked Mr Oyston to retract his allegation however he refused and in a later tweet Oyston referenced Mr Grice’s username on a fans forum confirming he would not apologise.
Oyston said in a statement on the matter: “Mr Grice has been employed for many years in casinos in both in Blackpool and other locations and his honesty and integrity are of the utmost importance. I accept that my tweet would have been understood as alleging that Mr Grice was guilty of theft. That allegation is completely false and unfounded and I retract it.
“I also apologise unreservedly to Mr Grice for the damage and distress my actions have caused. I have agreed to pay Mr Grice damages and his legal costs in the total sum of £20,000.”
Following a series of disputes between the Oystons and supporters, it is the first time a fan has been awarded damages from a member of the Oyston family.
Blackpool were relegated to Sky Bet League One at the beginning of April, in what has been an abysmal Championship campaign for the Tangerines on-and-off the pitch.
Blackpool fans….. What do you make of this news? Just what else can happen at Blackpool? Has it been a farce this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!