Here is the timeline of how the Blackpool FC saga played out over the last twelve months.
DECEMBER 22 2014
Karl Oyston becomes embroiled in a text messsage scandal in which he aimed the word ‘retard’ at a fan, in a vicious exchange of views.
FEBRUARY 6 2015
Fan David Ragozzino, 32, appears in court being sued for up to £150,000 by the club, as well as Karl and Owen Oyston, over alleged defamatory comments posted online.
MARCH 9 2015
Accounts reveal Blackpool posted a pre-tax profit of £9.4m
MARCH 23 2015
Karl Oyston learns he is being charged for the comments made to a fan in December
APRIL 6 2015
Blackpool relegated to League One.
MAY 2 2015
Fans invade pitch during last game against Huddersfield; some attempt to break into the directors’ box seating area.
MAY 15 2015
Supporter Andy Grice said he was ‘pleased and relieved’ after being paid £20,000 damages by the son of Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston for libellous comments made on social media.
JUNE 10 2015
The FA confirmed Karl Oyston would be banned from all football activity for six weeks five breaches of aggravated misconduct after sending abusive and insulting text messages, with references to disability, to a Blackpool FC supporter. He halso had to pay £40,000.
AUGUST 5 2015
Blackpool hit with suspended three-point deduction and £50,000 fine from the Football Association for the pitch invasion.
Fans served with letters from the club demanding compensation for loss of earnings following pitch invasion and match abandonment.
SEPTEMBER 11 2015
Five men appear at court charged with trying to get into directors’ box during the pitch invasion at the end of the previous season.
NOVEMBER 11 2015
Seasiders fan David Ragozzino warned other Pool supporters to be careful when commenting on his beloved club after he was ordered to pay the Oystons £40,000 in a libel case - and undisclosed costs.
The 32-year-old from Marton man was told to pay Karl and Owen Oyston £20k each in damages after a court ruled he had made “serious allegations of a defamatory nature against the claimants.”
DECEMBER 23 2015
A former Premier League footballer became the latest person to issue an apology and made an out-of-court settlement with the Oyston family – according to Blackpool’s chairman.
The Seasiders’ owners had issued a number of legal letters against fans, media and now players as they battled against comments made about their running of the club.
DECEMBER 31 2015
Three Blackpool fans narrowly escaped jail terms after admitting storming the directors’ box during the protest in the last game of last season. The trio admitted threatening behaviour likely to put victims in fear of violence.
Fans Stephen Reed and David Ragozzino go on trial accused of sending a barrage of offensive emails and texts to Karl Oyston.
JANUARY 15 2016
Andy Higgins speaks on behalf of Blackpool supporters Trust at Blackpool Council, calling on the authority to help sort out the situation between fans and owners at the club.
JANUARY 25 2016
Roofer Mark Rushton sent to prison for 26 weeks and made the subject of a six-year football banning order following a trial for storming the directors’ box during pitch invasion the previous year.
Dad-of-three Neil Holden, 40, of Marton Drive, Marton, received a 13-week jail term suspended for a year.