A £25m bid for Blackpool FC has been tabled by vSport but Blackpool Supporters’ Trust remains cautious and is urging the Singapore-based company to engage with the fans’ group.
The Gazette revealed yesterday that vSport founder Qiang Bai is looking to take complete control of the football club and Bloomfield Road stadium.
Such a deal would mean the Oyston family ceasing to have any involvement in the club. The Gazette contacted owner Owen Oyston yesterday but he politely declined to comment.
BST chairperson Christine Seddon said: “I don’t think you can blame anyone for being cautious where this subject is concerned.
“I would definitely advise them to contact the supporters’ trust because I think that would be a good step forward.
“We would say to any organisation interested in buying the club that engaging with the supporters is absolutely vital, particularly with the history of what has happened.
“Any business wants to engage with its customers and in football the supporters are very special. We don’t like being treated as customers because we are the lifeblood of any club.
“I would think that if they are very serious about this they really do need to get in touch quite soon.”
The Gazette understands that vSport officially made its bid this week after receiving assurances that Oyston’s long-running legal issues with Valeri Belokon will be resolved before the end of this month. vSport hope for a response to their offer by then.
Latvian businessman Belokon, the former Blackpool director and president, is still owed around £25m by Oyston following a High Court ruling in his favour last November.
BST would like more clarity regarding vSport’s intentions and Seddon added: “This organisation are saying they want to buy it outright and have no Oyston involvement. That is a very positive thing but it is still shrouded in mystery.
“Owen Oyston still owes Valeri Belokon at least £25m and that has to be sorted out somehow.
“It just seems a little bit fortuitous. We will have to wait and see.
“We need more background knowledge on it and how valid it is.
“We have to assume this £25m bid includes other (Oyston) assets because nobody in their right mind would spend that much money just on the stadium and the club.
“So presumably it includes the Blackpool FC Hotel? The training ground? Quernmore Park Hall (Oyston’s country estate in Lancaster) perhaps? There must be more to it surely?”
BST’s quest to see an end to the Oyston regime at Blackpool FC may be approaching a successful conclusion but Seddon says their battle it not over yet.
“This time last year the court case that many of us attended was just starting in London,” she said.
“We have come a very long way. We have been through a great deal and the thought that we could be coming to the end of our difficulties is a great thought.
“But we have a way to go yet and we are always extremely cautious.”
A source from Belokon's camp said they did not wish to comment, though the Gazette understands they have not been contacted by the Singapore group.