Belokon exclusive: I’m ready to help save the club

Valeri Belokon (right) talks to The Gazette alongside BFC director Kaspars Varpins

Valeri Belokon (right) talks to The Gazette alongside BFC director Kaspars Varpins

15
Have your say

Club president Valeri Belokon says he wants to help save Blackpool FC, though he needs assurances from owner Owen Oyston first.

The Latvian spoke exclusively to The Gazette from his Riga headquarters to promise supporters he has no wish to walk away and will do everything he can to arrest the club’s decline.

The 54-year-old also hit back at Pool chairman Karl Oyston’s claims that he doesn’t attend board meetings, insisting he is ready to do so but only if he is listened to.

Belokon told The Gazette: “I’m staying at Blackpool. If I did want to leave I would.

“I was born in a working- class district and life has taught me to fight until the end. I am fighting for my soul here. It’s not fair what is currently happening with Blackpool Football Club.

“I have told Owen that during the last 20 years he has done a lot of good things for the football club, but it will turn out that his name will be used to scare the kids and he will be remembered in a bad way.

“It doesn’t need to be like that. If Owen decided to bring some money, say £10m, to the club I’d be happy to work with them again. The football club is the main issue here.

“First I want to work for the benefit of Blackpool FC. I have said I won’t invest any more money in the club as there’s enough there.

“I don’t want to be investing any more money into the Oyston family.

“I am ready, if Owen agrees, to work together again but we need to see action rather than words.

“When there was a need, I was investing my money. I knew I needed to help the club, for the likes of Charlie Adam. Today there is enough money in the club and we should be using that.

“If there was one day a situation where there was no money, I would be happy to help the club again as a fan.”

Belokon bought a 20 per cent share of the club in 2006 and was heavily involved at boardroom level during Pool’s rise from League One to the Premier League.

Along with Owen Oyston, Belokon famously funded the signing of Charlie Adam and contributed towards the building of Bloomfield Road’s South Stand.

Belokon revealed that since last year’s much-publicised row with Karl Oyston he has met Owen Oyston.

He said: “A meeting was organised at my initiative. I met with Owen because despite the current situation we have had very successful co-operation in the past, when BFC got into the Premier League.

“The purpose of our meeting was to find a way of renewing the successful partnership that brought us success years ago. The aim is to get BFC back where it belongs – the Premier League. Owen proposed I return to participation in the management structure.

“One of my people has been representing me at the club (director Kaspars Varpins). Unfortunately, my opinions have been ignored in recent years.

“I am ready to return, of course, but only if the fundamental issue of my opinions being taken into account at board level is resolved.

“In November we received the BFC financial statements that had to be submitted to the Football League.

“In these documents, it was stated that they had been approved by the board. We were never invited to that board meeting and we never had a chance to review those statements.

“The Oystons are ignoring us and they do not take our decisions into account.”