Belokon resigns as Blackpool FC director

Valeri Belokon
Valeri Belokon

Valeri Belokon has resigned as a director of Blackpool FC, saying it is in the best interests of the club for him to step aside considering his legal disputes with the Oyston family.

The 57-year-old Latvian businessman confirmed his decision in a statement sent to The Gazette.

Club president Belokon has nominated his compatriot Normunds Malnacs to return to the board of directors in his place, while his associate Kaspars Varpins remains on the board.

Belokon took out a 20 per cent stake in Blackpool FC in 2006, his investment contributing to the development of the Armfield Stand and the club’s rise to the Premier League in 2010.

His relationship with the club’s owners, the Oystons, has soured in recent years, culminating in two high-profile court cases during 2017.

Belokon won the first in February, concerning money from the Blackpool FC hotel. A ruling in the second case, in which Belokon claimed “unfair prejudice” against him, is expected later in the year.

Blackpool FC suspended Belokon from the board in March following disputed allegations of money laundering.

It is unclear whether Belokon wishes to retain his title as club president.

The statement issued by Belokon reads: “Valeri Belokon has taken the decision to resign from the position of Director of the Blackpool Football Club (BFC) and delegate to this position Normunds Malnacs.

“Mr Belokon believes that it will be more beneficial for the development of the Club if the daily work of the Club is free of emotional disagreements between the major BFC owners – disagreements that have accumulated over a longer period of time and are now in the hands of the court. They do not have to disturb the club’s activities.

“Decision-making should be based solely on the attainment of BFC’s sporting goals and professional arguments, with the view on the future not the past.

“Mr Belokon retains his genuine interest in the Club and its progress. Therefore he is promoting dedicated professionals with many years of experience in football for the work in BFC management.

“Normunds Malnacs resumes the position of the Director of the Club instead of Valeri Belokon, and Kaspars Vārpins continues his duties as a Director of BFC.

“Normunds Malnacs has proven his professionalism at BFC. Between 2006 and 2012 he was already a director of the Club, laying the foundations for BFC to reach the Premier League.

“After the work at BFC, Malnacs in 2012 established the Latvian Football League and was its director until 2013.

“In 2014 he was the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Latvian Football Federation. Normunds Malnacs has a degree at The London School of Economics and Political Science.”