The EFL has told The Gazette it is unable to comment on speculation surrounding a potential 12-point deduction for Blackpool FC until it’s in receipt of the “full details”.
It comes just a day before Owen Oyston and Valeri Belokon are set to renew battle in the High Court, a hearing which is likely to have huge ramifications for the football club.
Belokon’s application to have a court receiver appointed to recoup the £25m he is still owed by Oyston will be heard on Wednesday.
The Latvian’s lawyers Clifford Chance, who it is understood have already identified a receiver, are considering going down this route to bring an end to the recent impasse.
The hearing will be heard at the Rolls Building in London in front of Justice Marcus Smith.
A court receiver could be brought in to discharge the assets of Owen and Karl Oyston as well as Segesta – which owns Blackpool FC, the stadium, the training ground as well as the Travelodge and Quernmore Hall.
If approved by the judge, this would be an unprecedented move in English football. It would involve a lot of uncertainty – and the potential 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’ in the same way administration is.
When asked by The Gazette if a 12-point deduction is likely to apply in Blackpool’s case, a spokesperson for the EFL said: “The position on this matter is until the EFL receives full details, we are not in a position to comment.”
The EFL instead referred The Gazette to the relevant rules regarding insolvency, which states: “If any club becomes subject to or suffers an insolvency event, that club shall be deducted 12 points.”
In Blackpool’s case, an “insolvency event” is likely to refer to a “receiver appointed by the court under the Supreme Court Act 1981 or any other receiver is appointed over any assets which, in the opinion of the board, is material to the club’s ability to fulfil its obligations as a member club.”
There will be many that argue the deduction should not apply as the receiver will be appointed to Segesta and not Blackpool FC.
The club would be permitted to appeal the deduction, were it to be applied, with the EFL holding the power to either set it aside, reduce it or remove the sanction completely.
The appeal must be lodged no later than seven days after the notice had been served.
The EFL introduced the points deduction rule in 2004 as a means of deterring clubs from overspending.
As this is not the case for Blackpool, where a unique set of circumstances have unfolded, there is some suggestion the EFL should look to suspend the points deduction for 12 months.
Were Blackpool to enter receivership after Thursday, March 28, the points deduction would apply to next season. If the receiver was appointed prior to that date, the deduction would apply for this season.
As it stands, a 12-point deduction would put Blackpool on 34 points, a point clear of the relegation zone.
Were the deduction not to apply, the Seasiders would still have a good chance of reaching the top six as they currently stand just four points short of the top four.