Blackpool FC owner Oyston's return to court could pave way for sale of assets

The ongoing court saga involving Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston and Valeri Belokon is set to continue in London today.

Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th May 2018, 4:25 pm
Owen Oyston (front centre) at Blackpool's final game of the season at Rotherham

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Latvian businessman Belokon’s representatives told The Gazette that the under-pressure Oyston has applied to have an injunction freezing his assets relaxed. It is thought this, if approved, would serve to facilitate the sales of assets.The case is set to be heard in front of Justice Marcus Smith at the Rolls Building in London from 10.30am and is open to the public.Belokon’s lawyers, Clifford Chance, are awaiting a further court hearing to approve orders of sale to recoup the £25m the former Blackpool director and president is still owed by Oyston. Twenty four properties are due to be sent to auction, along with shares in seven companies.Among them is Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Limited, Oyston’s company that owns the football club, Bloomfield Road stadium, Squires Gate training ground and the Travelodge hotel.Any auction is unlikely to take place until June unless the matter is speedily processed through the legal system. Oyston was given a deadline of last Thursday to submit any objections. Once that passed, Clifford Chance were able to apply for a hearing.In the High Court last November, the Oystons were ordered to buy out Belokon for £31.27m after it was found they had illegitimately stripped the club of cash following promotion to the Premier League in 2010.Justice Marcus Smith found then that the Oystons had unfairly prejudiced the Latvian, who accused them of “improperly” extracting tens of millions of pounds from the club.The judge found in his favour and the club was put up for sale four days later.Oyston claimed on April 26 that the club had reached an agreement with an unnamed investment group but no further details have been revealed.The Gazette has approached Owen Oyston for comment but received no response.

Owen Oyston (front centre) at Blackpool's final game of the season at Rotherham