Blackpool FC accepts Belokon’s resignation but not on his terms

Valeri Belokon
Valeri Belokon
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Blackpool FC has accepted Valeri Belokon’s resignation as a director but insists the businessman has no right to name fellow Latvian Normunds Malnacs as his successor on the board.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening the club also suggests that the 57-year-old Belokon may fail to meet the Football League’s standards for suitable owners and directors.

The Blackpool FC statement reads: “The Board of Blackpool Football Club yesterday, Tuesday 22nd August 2017, received the resignations of Valeri Belokon as Club President and Director.

“The Club’s Board was given no opportunity to discuss these matters, given that the news was simultaneously released to the media.

“Within the letter sent to the Club’s Board, Valeri Belokon proposed that Normunds Malnacs resumes the role of Director, having previously served in the position on two occasions, prior to being removed by Valeri Belokon.

“Valeri Belokon has attended only two board meetings in the last seven years.

“At Blackpool’s next Board meeting the Board’s composition will be discussed. Valeri Belokon has, of course, no authority to nominate Normunds Malnacs as a replacement for himself.

“Valeri Belokon was suspended from the Club’s Board in March, as a consequence of a Judgment against him personally by the Paris Court of Appeals of the French Republic for money laundering and tax evasion. Since this time and more recently, Valeri Belokon has been handed down a criminal conviction by the Kyrgyz Republic, sentencing him to 20 years imprisonment, also for money laundering and tax evasion amongst other criminal violations.

“Following this Judgment and criminal conviction, the Club’s Board raised several questions of Valeri Belokon and his legal advisors and it became apparent that there was a potential breach of EFL OAD Test Rules, which would disqualify Valeri Belokon from Board Membership.

“The Club supports the view put forward in Valeri’s resignation letter that it will be good for the development of the Club to consign disagreements to the past so that the Club can now focus on the future.

“The Club’s Board is mindful of doing all it can to continue the progress and stability of the last 18 months, with manager Gary Bowyer developing a young and exciting team to watch.”

This week’s developments come against a background of two legal actions taken by Belokon against Blackpool FC’s owners, the Oyston family, this year.

A High Court ruling on the second of these, which saw Belokon claim “unfair prejudice” against him in his role as director, is due later in the year.

The resignation statement issued to The Gazette by Belokon did not state whether he wished to continue in his role as club president. However, the club informed us that the Latvian has also relinquished that title.