THE president of Blackpool Football Club has protested his innocence over allegations of money laundering.
Latvian banker Valeri Belokon is accused of taking part in the theft of millions of pounds of state assets from Kyrgyzstan.
However Mr Belokon told a national newspaper the accusations are unfounded politically motivated.
In an emailed statement, Belokon said: “I am still in dispute with the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and [the] Kyrgyz side continue to provide worldwide false information about me, perhaps in an effort to negatively influence the process against me.”
According to a report by the anti-corruption watchdog Global Witness, Mr Belokon and his Krygi business associate Maxim Bakiyev were co-owners of a company called Maval Aktivi.
Documents seen by the newspaper show that in 2008 Blackpool FC’s majority shareholder, Segesta Limited, was given a £2.5m loan from another Belokon company called VB Football Assets.
The documents suggest the money originally came from Maval Aktivi.
Mr Belokon has said the money was used to build a new stand at Bloomfield Road and that Bakiyev was not involved in the deal.
Mr Belokon was last seen at a Tangerines match against Nottingham Forest in October after a long absence.
He became president after investing £4.5m to buy a 20 per cent stake in the club in 2006, and is reputed to have poured millions into the club.
Mr Belokon was responsible for funding the signing of Charlie Adam from Rangers and DJ Campbell from Leicester City – both players were crucial in the Seasiders successful promotion bid for the Premier League.
Mr Belokon is also reported to have close links to Prince Charles, and serves on the board of trustees at The Prince’s Foundation.
No-one from Blackpool Football Club was available to comment on the allegations against Mr Belokon.