Blackpool FC have today confirmed an offer has been made to buy the football side of the club – but withdrawn due to a boardroom wrangle.
According to the club the offer – made earlier this month – did not go through because board member Valeri Belokon refused to vote – but suggests the Oyston family could now be open to selling the football side of the club.
In a statement the club said: “On May 14 Blackpool Football Club received a letter of intent on behalf of a consortium setting out proposed terms for the purchase of the football assets of the club, including a long-term proposal to occupy the stadium. BFC’s chairman, Karl Oyston, attempted to engage in a preliminary discussion with the other board members to consider this offer.
“Mr Valeri Belokon, one of the club’s directors, and a shareholder, declined to engage in any such dialogue. This would have been vital to give full and proper consideration to the offer that was made for Blackpool Football Club. The board was saddened at Mr Belokon’s failure to engage, particularly bearing in mind that Mr Belokon has given several indications through the media that he wished to make an offer for Blackpool Football Club himself, but has not done so to date.
“Karl Oyston attempted to convene a formal board meeting to consider this offer. That board meeting took place yesterday. Mr Belokon however declined again to engage in these urgent discussions and did not take any part in the board meeting, leaving it to his representative Mr Kaspars Varpins. Mr Kaspars Varpins, on behalf of Mr Belokon, whose proxy he held, abstained from voting with the other directors to take the offer further in a positive way.
“As a result of the failure to engage in meaningful discussions and gain the support of all directors and shareholders, the board has come to the view that it would be impractical to continue any further negotiations with the third party bidder. It has therefore now withdrawn from the proposed transaction.
“The board has also decided that it would not be appropriate to consider offers in the future for the company below the level of this third party offer, or to consider offers based on a different structure to the one proposed by this potential buyer.
“Mr Belokon has not attended a board meeting for over two years, last attending in March 2013. This makes it exceptionally difficult for the board to engage in any collective decision making, as demonstrated by the inability of the Board to progress this third party offer.
“It is vital that the club, having now refused this offer, quickly concentrates on the recruitment of coaching and playing staff in readiness for the forthcoming season. The club will also now progress the fans’ parliament representative to a stage where there is an active supporters’ representative at board meetings.
“The Board requested Mr Belokon to clarify his position in relation to board membership and general engagement ahead of the club’s next board meeting date being agreed. It is vital that all board members take an active role in developing the future strategy of the football club, in the best interests of all concerned.”
FOR MORE READ TOMORROW’S GAZETTE