The chair of Blackpool FC’s leading fans’ group has called for calm after Owen Oyston’s potential new investor in the club was revealed to be Jonathan Disley, a businessman dubbed the ‘King of Marbella’ because of his lifestyle in Spain.
The Gazette revealed on Wednesday that Disley, a businessman from Herefordshire with offices in Preston, has been in talks with Oyston for several weeks.
Disley was jailed for four and a half years in 2013 for a £675,000 bank fraud.
Preston Crown Court heard that a gang headed by Disley targeted companies in financial difficulty and stripped them of their assets.
Disley’s conviction was quashed at the Court of Appeal last year.
It is understood that Disley joined Blackpool FC owner Oyston and club chairman Natalie Christopher, Oyston’s daughter, at a summit with former BFC director Valeri Belokon in Latvia on July 4.
At that meeting, it is believed Belokon granted Oyston a further 14 days to wrap up a deal that could go some way to repaying his £25m debt to the Latvian – a deadline which passed yesterday.
In the meantime, the auctioning off of Oyston assets to raise funds has been put on hold.
While details of the proposed investment remain unclear, The Gazette understands it could involve a loan to Oyston likely to entail huge interest payments.
It has also been rumoured that the deal could involve Disley taking a majority share of Blackpool Football Club Properties (Limited), the Oyston-owned company that has the controlling stake in the football club.
Christine Seddon, chairman of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, has called on both Oyston and Belokon to speak publicly to clarify the situation.
She told The Gazette: “We are monitoring the situation and have requested accurate information from both Blackpool FC and Mr Belokon.
“Until we receive a statement of fact, it is difficult to comment further at this time but we would advise Blackpool supporters and all interested parties to avoid speculation and await information.
“We are gravely concerned that yet again Blackpool FC is being linked in the press to inappropriate individuals and our community football club is being held to ransom by its current owner.
“We call on Owen Oyston to resolve the situation regarding his debt to Valeri Belokon and arrange to remove himself and all his family from Blackpool FC without further delay. This sorry saga has gone on for far too long.”
In an interview with a national newspaper in 2010, Disley said he built his business on nightclub security in Manchester.
Oyston was unavailable for comment, while Belokon’s representatives told The Gazette they would prefer to hear from Oyston before commenting publicly.