StatementBetween the 9th April and the 9th August 2014, Stephen Sharpe, posting under the name "Marton Mosser" on the website forum Fansonline.net, made a number of defamatory postings regarding Mr Karl Oyston, Mr Owen Oyston and Blackpool Football Club Limited.
Mr Sharpe now accepts that his post were defamatory and involved an 'imputation of grossly disreputable conduct such as to harm the reputations of the Oystons and Blackpool Football Club in general and that of Owen Oyston in particular'.
Mr Sharpe has unreservedly withdrawn his posts after accepting that they were 'false, defamatory and, in some cases, threatening'. Mr Sharpe 'sincerely and unreservedly' apologises to the Oystons and Blackpool Football Club for the 'harm and distress' his comments have caused. In recognition of this, Mr Sharpe has also agreed with the suggestion that a token donation of £5,000 be made to the Blackpool FC Community Trust in lieu of damages and legal costs.
Mr Sharpe's undertaking can be found below:
1. I unreservedly withdraw the allegations set out in the Posts and
2. I hereby profusely and sincerely apologise for any offence caused to the Oystons and to BFC by my comments and
3. I will cause this apology and undertaking to be posted on FansOnline.net immediately and I will not seek or cause it to be removed from such site and
4. I undertake not to repeat the said words, or any similar words, or make any similar allegations and
5. I will not seek to retract or withdraw the said apology, or any part of it, or say or do anything to suggest that it is other than made sincerely and freely given. I will not seek to denigrate, detract or dilute or in any way undermine it or diminish its effect and
6. I will within 28 days donate the sum of £5,000.00 to Blackpool Community Trust Fund.
Signed by Stephen Sharpe this 28th day of January 2015.
The Club regrets that it was left with no alternative but to take legal action regarding this matter, yet satisfied a sensible and proportionate outcome has been reached.
The Club will be making no further comment.