Deadline passes without news on Owen Oyston's 'investment' deal

Oyston told people at Saturday's game that the deal should be wrapped up by Tuesday, but no announcement was forthcoming
Oyston told people at Saturday's game that the deal should be wrapped up by Tuesday, but no announcement was forthcoming

A week has now passed since Blackpool Football Club owner Owen Oyston claimed a deal with a mystery investment group was close to being finalised - but as yet no news has been forthcoming.

READ MORE: Owen Oyston expects 'investment' deal to be completed this week

On April 6, Oyston released the first of two statements through the club’s website claiming an investment group were interested in taking an "active" and "serious" financial involvement.

The statement said the group have a three-to-five-year plan for the club, with the “ultimate aim of regaining and sustaining Premier League status”.

“Well aware of the issues that have beset the club in recent years, the investment group is determined to build up a strong relationship with supporters and bring out the exciting potential of Blackpool Football Club once again,” the statement added.

Oyston, known to miss deadlines in the past, said a further announcement would be made within two weeks though it took almost three weeks for the latest update to be issued.

Last Thursday, a follow-up statement claimed an agreement would be finalised within the next three to five days, with the final legal formalities the only issue remaining.

That period of time has now passed without a further announcement being made.

Even if he meant three to five working days, that leaves today as the end of his self-imposed timeline.

Neither statement made any reference to what Oyston’s future involvement would be, although the second statement did state the agreement will provide an “immediate solution to the issues that currently surround the club”.

The Gazette has made repeated attempts to contact Oyston but have been ignored on each occasion.

It is understood Oyston has been meeting with an individual named William La Bella for the last few weeks, but the group he represents remains unknown.

Some fans have accused Oyston of fabricating these claims simply to bide more time.

The 84-year-old still owes in the region of £25m to former director Valeri Belokon, who is continuing to take legal enforcement action in a bid to reclaim his money.

Auctions are expected to take place this summer to sell off Oyston-owned assets, with Belokon recouping any money made.

It all comes after Oyston was ordered to pay Belokon £31.27m following a High Court judgement in November, where Justice Marcus Smith found the owner of Blackpool Football Club had “illegitimately stripped” the club of cash following its 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.