So in simple terms, what does all this Blackpool FC court action mean? We break it down here.
The majority of the shares in Blackpool FC are owned by Segesta Limited, a company wholly controlled by Owen Oyston. Valeri Belokon holds a 20 per cent shareholding in the football club.
Crucially, this is sufficient for him to bring a legal claim against the other shareholders and directors if he feels they are acting unfairly towards him, a situation legally termed ‘unfair prejudicial conduct’.
As a minority shareholder, Belokon is asking the High Court to intervene in the running of Blackpool FC to put right the unfair treatment he complains of.
In his statement released yesterday, Belokon alleges this unfair treatment includes “transferring millions of pounds of club money to other Oyston companies via unsecured interest free loans and payments to themselves”.
If the High Court endorses Belokon’s claims, it has very wide powers to act.
It could order compensation to be paid or could order Segasta Ltd to buy Belokon’s shares or even sell its majority shareholding to him.
On the flipside, the Oystons could receive nothing more than a reprimand or Belokon’s claim could be thrown out completely.
Cases like this are notoriously expensive and can take a long time to come before the courts. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for the parties to negotiate outside court and find some middle ground to avoid the time and costs of court proceedings.