November 6 judgement day in Belokon v Oyston battle

Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston and Valeri Belokon
Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston and Valeri Belokon
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Representatives of Valeri Belokon have revealed a date has finally been set for the judgement of a bitter High Court case between the Latvian and the Oyston family.

Mr Justice Marcus Smith, sitting at the High Court in London, was initially expected to deliver his verdict by the end of July.

But it was delayed due to the court’s extended holiday period before the judge began another three-week trial on his return.

It was then feared it could be as late as December before a judgement was passed, but a date of Monday, November 6 has now been set.

This is according to representatives close to Belokon, although the High Court have told The Gazette the case is not officially listed yet.

The date was revealed on fans’ forums yesterday but neither Belokon’s people or the Oystons would confirm it to The Gazette on Thursday.

A spokesman for Mr Belokon confirmed the date in an email this morning.

It comes after the Oyston family, the owners of Blackpool FC, were locked in a six-week High Court battle with Latvian millionaire and club president Mr Belokon, who claims the family “improperly” extracted millions of pounds from the club when it enjoyed a cash “jackpot” after winning promotion to the Premier League in 2010.

Andrew Green QC, appearing for Mr Belokon, said “from the moment the cherries had lined upon on the Premiership fruit machine”, the Oystons had treated the club as “their own personal cash machine”.

Mr Green told the court that Mr Belokon had invested in the club as a minority shareholder on the basis that he would eventually be entitled to an equal share of the management and profits.

He had reached an agreement with Mr Oyston entitling him to parity once loans he had made were converted into club shares.

As that agreement had not been honoured, said Mr Green, Mr Belokon was now entitled to receive a buy-out award in the region of £24m-£25m.

Alan Steinfeld QC, appearing for the Oystons, asked the judge to dismiss Mr Belokon’s “confused” case, saying he had suffered no unfair prejudice.

Instead, Mr Belokon wrongly “thought” he had obtained a “gentlemen’s agreement” entitling him to equal shares.

The Oystons say Mr Belokon incited fans to cause trouble, making it difficult to run the company in the best interests of the football club.