The High Court has placed Blackpool Football Club into a receivership, forcing the owner Owen Oyston to pay Valeri Belokon the £25m he is owed.
As reported by threalefl.co.uk, ex-director Belokon’s legal team applied to the High Court to appoint a receiver in January. The receiver has now been appointed to discharge the assets of Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Ltd, formerly Segesta Ltd, which owns Blackpool FC, the stadium, the training ground and the nearby Travelodge. The receiver will not have the power to discharge Oyston’s property portfolio. Oyston, who is thought to own 24 properties, including his 20-acre home Quernmore Hall, Lancaster, and has shares in six companies, opposed the application.
The court heard that the ruling could result in Blackpool being deducted twelve points by the EFL under their regulations on insolvency but this is yet to be confirmed. The EFL said in a statement that they would “consider the matter” at their next meeting on 6 March.
The threat of a point deduction did not dampen the spirits of supporters who were delighted at the news. A large section of the club’s fans have boycotted matches and held protests against the Oyston family for several years over their running of the Lancashire club. However, Tim Fielding, honorary vice-president of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, said the receivers deserved the full backing of the club’s fanbase and called for an end to the boycott now the club was no longer under Oyston’s control. He told the Blackpool Gazette “He (the receiver) needs that support and he’s made it clear he wants that support. I think we would be acting against our ultimate objective if we didn’t go back.”
The Seasiders have plummeted from the Premier League to the third tier of English football in just a matter of years under the Oyston family, who have been the owners of the club since 1986, having bought the club for just £1. The family has been in dispute with Belekon over the ownership of the club for some years and was ordered by the court to pay the Latvian businessman £31 million in November 2017.
A legal representative of Belokon issued a statement which said: “Mr Belokon expresses his hope that this will herald a new chapter in the proud history of a prestigious club.”
“It potentially marks a watershed moment for Blackpool and its loyal fanbase.”
The High Court decision brings to an end the reign of one of the most unpopular owners in English football.
Tangerine fans will be dancing in the street at this fantastic news that brings an end to Oyston’s control of the famous old club.
Blackpool have been in good form recently and currently sit eighth in League One, but a twelve point deduction would leave them just two points above the relegation places. Supporters will not mind either way but will hope the EFL will be lenient in regards to the points deduction
While all the roubles at the club may not be over, it is a day when Blackpool fans can finally look to a future without the hated Oyston at the helm.