Belokon, Oyston and the mystery investor: what we know about the Blackpool FC summit in Latvia

Valeria Belokon met Owen Oyston in Latvia
Valeria Belokon met Owen Oyston in Latvia
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Owen Oyston’s surprise meeting with Valeri Belokon in Latvia has raised hopes among Blackpool fans that a resolution to the ownership saga could soon be in sight – but details of the talks remain shrouded in secrecy.

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The owner of Blackpool Football Club flew to Riga on July 4 to meet with Belokon, the man he still owes £25m following November’s High Court ruling.

Representatives for Belokon told The Gazette the meeting went well and are hopeful the talks will help to bring about a resolution.

Oyston travelled to Latvia with his daughter, club chairman Natalie Christopher, and with a man believed to be interested in investing in the club.

The Gazette understands this potential investor has been in talks with Oyston for several weeks and has been shown around Bloomfield Road.

This investor could offer Oyston a third-party loan likely to involve huge interest payments.

It appears Oyston persuaded Belokon to grant him 14 days to wrap up a deal that could go some way to repaying the debt and further news is expected this week. In the meantime, the auctioning off of Oyston assets to raise funds has been put on hold,

Christine Seddon, chairman of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, warned the mystery investor that the majority of the club’s fanbase won’t return if the deal involves Oyston remaining at the club in any capacity.

Seddon said: “The news that Owen Oyston flew out to meet Valeri Belokon in Latvia has raised hopes and caused concern in equal measure.

“Blackpool fans have been waiting so long for some kind of action regarding the ownership of our club. The fact that something is happening is encouraging.

“Whilst Latvia have not yet made a statement, the fact that Normunds Malnacs (Belokon’s representative) did make a few comments suggesting that the meeting was positive, that he has a feeling progress is close and that a change of management is inevitable has given Blackpool fans hope that a new era for our club is about to dawn.

“England’s unexpected success at the World Cup has shown just how important football is to our nation and what a force for good it can be when conducted properly.

“A sport which can unite communities and people from all backgrounds, faiths and political persuasions, inspire young and old to get active, bring joy and pride, even in the face of defeat, and bring relief from the daily grind is truly something special.

“Football is indeed greater than the sum of its individual parts.

“A young England squad may not be bringing the Jules Rimet Trophy back to England but football has come home. It’s now time for Blackpool fans to be able to go home too.”