‘Cash-rich’ Oystons late to pay club bill

Blackpool's Squires Gate training ground
Blackpool's Squires Gate training ground
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Blackpool FC was hit with a court summons over unpaid business rates owed on its crumbling training ground – just two days after posting profits of more than £9m.

The club had been due to appear in front of magistrates on Monday after Fylde Council took legal action over the debt after the club failed to pay business rates for the Squires Gate site.

The unpaid bill, believed to be for just £221, is the latest in a season of woes for the “cash-rich” club, which chairman Karl Oyston has claimed was the envy of the Football League.

The Gazette understands the summons has since been withdrawn after a last-minute payment was received by the council.

However, yesterday afternoon staff at Blackpool Magistrates court said the case was still scheduled to go ahead on Monday.

It is the latest fiasco to hit crisis club Pool in recent months, following the FA’s decision to bring charges against chairman Karl Oyston over offensive comments allegedly made during a text conversation to a supporter.

Despite years of promises from the chairman to invest in the facility or find a new site elsewhere, the Martin Avenue facility remains a cause for concern among fans.

Former manager Ian Holloway famously described it as a “hellhole” and refused to train there.

Now, despite the Oystons’ boasts that Pool are a “cash-rich” club, The Gazette understands legal proceeding were started following the non-payment of a £221 business rates bill.

The money, which was due in January, was the only instalment outstanding when council treasurers took action earlier this month.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “We sent a summons on March 9 for unpaid business rates on their training ground and they were due to appear in court on Monday.

“They have now settled the bill so we are withdrawing the case.”

The council said there was only one of the club’s 10 annual payments outstanding when the summons was issued.

The spokesman added: “We urge people to pay their bills promptly.”

The Gazette contacted Blackpool FC for a comment but was told nobody was available for comment.

The Seasiders could be officially relegated after their next match at Bolton in seven days time.