Date fixed for court hearing which could end Owen Oyston's days at Blackpool and see club docked 12 points

The long-running battle for Bloomfield Road could take a decisive turn in London next Wednesday
The long-running battle for Bloomfield Road could take a decisive turn in London next Wednesday
Share this article

Blackpool supporters have certainly endured a rollercoaster ride in recent times but next week’s court hearing in the Oyston-Belokon saga could finally bring that journey to an end.

READ MORE: Blackpool fans' reaction to confirmation of court date
A huge step in removing owner Owen Oyston from the football club could be taken next Wednesday, when the appointment of a Court Receiver is to be discussed in the High Court.

Valeri Belokon’s application to have a Receiver appointed to recoup the £25m he is still owed will be heard on February 13, it has been confirmed.

Belokon’s lawyers Clifford Chance, who are understood to have already identified a Receiver, are considering going down this route to bring an end to the impasse. The hearing will be heard at the Rolls Building in London in front of Justice Marcus Smith.

A Court Receiver would discharge the assets of Owen and Karl Oyston as well as Segesta, the company which owns Blackpool FC, the stadium, the training ground as well as the Travelodge and Quernmore Hall.

The appointment of a Receiver would be an unprecedented move in English football and would involve a lot of uncertainty, including the threat of a 12-point deduction by the EFL.

This is because under EFL rules the appointment of a Court Receiver is deemed ‘an insolvency event’, like going into administration.

Tim Fielding, solicitor and honorary vice-president of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, believes a points deduction would be “unfair” but likely to happen.

He told The Gazette: “It really is completely unchartered territory.

“We’re on that rollercoaster we spoke about in 2010. We’re on it and we’re strapped down, and we’ve now got to see where it takes us.

“I can only see it taking us to a better place than we’re in at the moment but it might be a little bit rocky on the way.

“I’m expecting a 12-point deduction. Whether the EFL might be persuaded to reduce it, not to apply it or suspend it remains to be seen.

“Owen was never going to go quietly. We’ve known that for a long time.

“We’re probably going to have to go through this period, as unfortunate as it might be, and it would be unfortunate if we get the points deduction.

“It would be unfortunate for Terry McPhillips and the team but in the long term it will be better for us, for them and for the football club as a whole, whatever ultimately happens.”

The Oystons were ordered to buy out former director Belokon for £31.27m in November 2017 after it was found they had illegitimately stripped the club of cash following promotion to the Premier League in 2010.

The judge found Belokon had been unfairly prejudiced and the club was put up for sale four days later.

The Gazette contacted the EFL for comment but received no response.