Blackpool’s leading fan groups have today met with a consortium with links to the Far East ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for bids.
Blackpool Supporters’ Association, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, Muckers Supporters’ Group and the Tangerine Knights took part in a meeting with Henry Teh, of Global Ports Asia, and TWG Global Limited’s Tim Williamson, who are said to be fronting a bid for the club.
Investment partner TWG Global, whose UK office is based near Longridge, also has a base in Malaysia.
Global Ports Asia, meanwhile, describes itself as an “international developer, management and investment company” with headquarters in Singapore.
It focuses on developing infrastructures that are linked with ferry terminals, cruise terminals, marinas and airport businesses.
It is claimed Mr Teh is interested in purchasing Blackpool Airport alongside his interest in the football club.
The Gazette understands the group have previously held talks to purchase the club while Owen Oyston was still in charge.
BST said: “Representatives of BSA, BST, MSG and TKs met briefly this afternoon at his request with Henry Teh, a Singaporean investor considering a bid for Blackpool FC.
“Mr Teh, whose portfolio of companies is involved in running airports and seaports, in infrastructure and township developments, is looking to table an ambitious bid that would include key amenities in the town and not just the football club, making it part of a decade-long regeneration project for the resort.
“He conceded he had no expertise in the football business but if he became owner of Blackpool FC he would look to put in place skilled professionals to run it properly and restore its prestige in its rightful place at the heart of the community.
“He clearly does not underestimate the size of the undertaking. We thank Mr Teh and his associate Tim Williamson for their time and candour.”
A spokesperson for the Tangerine Knights added: “This evening ourselves along with other representatives of fan groups met with Singapore-based Henry Teh and Tim Williamson who are fronting a bid to buy the club.
“Their vision incorporates development in the town as a whole, including Blackpool Airport.
“Our honest first impression was they seem genuine although I was worried they just wanted the Squires Gate land and the club was a sideline.
“They were honest enough and said they have a five to 10-year plan, recognise areas of improvement including pitch, East Stand and training ground. Time will tell.”
It is claimed that, during the meeting, Mr Teh said the Travelodge hotel, which is part of the Segesta portfolio of assets, has been sold.
“Great meeting and he has a lot of plans over a five to 10-year period. Also has a lot of plans for the town,” MSG added.
All bids for the club must be submitted by close of play tomorrow, which is when the receiver Paul Cooper will carefully review all bids received and determine the most appropriate way to conclude the sale of the club.
The Seasiders have officially been on the market since the end of March, when independent financial services company Hilco Global were instructed to assist with the sale of the club.
The club was placed into receivership in February under instruction from the High Court, who instructed Paul Cooper to realise the football club and its related assets to settle the debt Owen Oyston still owes to Valeri Belokon.