BST call for Owen Oyston to ‘save the club’ with £23m bid

Blackpool Supporters Trust announce a takeover bid for Blackpool FC. Pictured are Christine Seddon, Steve Rowland and Kevin Boroduwicz
Blackpool Supporters Trust announce a takeover bid for Blackpool FC. Pictured are Christine Seddon, Steve Rowland and Kevin Boroduwicz
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Blackpool Supporters Trust have challenged Owen Oyston to “save Blackpool for a second time” by accepting their offer to buy the club.

BST yesterday tabled what it describes as a “hostile” £23m takeover bid for Blackpool Football Club and its holding company Segesta.

The bidders are offering no new money to buy the club but intend to use current Segesta/BFC assets to fund the deal.

The complicated proposals would see BST hand assets to the Oyston family, including the Travelodge hotel land near the stadium (valued at £6.5m) and Quernmore Park Hall in Lancaster (£1.75m).

BST would also write off £3m in outstanding loans from the club to Oyston-owned businesses along with the £7m debt to club president Valeri Belokon.

The bid also pledges a payment of £4.75m to the Oystons from club funds.

BST spokesperson Christine Seddon has directly appealed to Owen Oyston to accept the offer for the good of the club.

She said: “Owen Oyston has regularly told us he saved the club in 1987, when he bought it. Well, this is his chance to save the club again by walking away.

“This is his chance to prove he’s the fan he claims he is.

“He must now realise that his position is untenable, whether he agrees with the reasons or not.

“He has an opportunity to save the club again, this time by letting it go.

“It really is time to move on for the Oyston family.”

The proposal would see BST taking ownership of all the Oystons’ shares in Segesta Limited.

That would leave BST in control of both Segesta (with 97 per cent of shares) and Blackpool FC (with 76 per cent).

While an attempt to buy a business by using its own assets may not appear the most attractive proposition to the current owners, BST believes the football club will soon become a loss-maker unless the Oystons seize this opportunity to get out.

Kevin Boroduwicz, BST secretary, insists it’s the best deal the Oyston family is going to get.

He said: “This is a hostile bid. We aren’t trying to pretend this is a nice thing.

“The likelihood is that the value of the club in the future will be dramatically reduced.

“It’s already at an inflated price when they talk about £32m or anything beyond that. It’s not worth that and they will not get that money for it.

“The bid we are putting in is the best bid they are going to get.

“We may come back with further bids in the future, but they will be for less than this as the value of the club comes down.

“This is the time for them to sell and it makes good business sense to do so.”

Many expect the offer to be rejected by the Oyston family, who have stressed in the past that they have no intentions of selling the club.

BST chairman Steve Rowland added: “If the Oystons reject (the bid) out of hand, it will send a real message to the people of Blackpool that they don’t have the interests of the football club at heart.

“I fear matters will only intensify in terms of protests if they don’t leave the football club.

“We intend to continue to work behind the scenes to persuade them to go, and we will work with other organisations to change the governance in football.

“We realise the bid probably won’t be accepted but we are hopeful.

“This would be the right thing for them to do for the good of the club.”

How to bid £23m without any cash

Written off debt to Valeri Belokon: £7,000,000

Value of Travelodge: £6,500,000

Money from BFC funds: £4,754,307

Value of Quernmore Park Hall: £1,750,000

Written off loans to Oyston companies: £2,957,676

Written off loan to Zabaxe Ltd: £41,248

Written off loan to Owen Oyston: £2,267

TOTAL: £23,005,498