OPINION: Another chapter in Blackpool FC’s ownership story

Blackpool owner Owen Oyston still has not left the club
Blackpool owner Owen Oyston still has not left the club

The unremitting legal battle between Owen Oyston and Valeri Belokon reminds me of a badly beaten corpse dragged through the streets.

Said carcass will be flung back into the public consciousness next week as the legal wrangle returns to the High Court on Wednesday.

As if the owner of Blackpool FC hasn’t had long enough to pay off his debt, Belokon’s lawyers will be desperately attempting to find a way to force Oyston to stump up the cash.

This latest hearing will mark 352 days since last November’s High Court ruling, when the Oyston family were condemned for asset stripping the football club which they had used as their “personal cash machine”.

Justine Marcus Smith slapped a £31.27m fine on their heads for their misdemeanours. At that point, it seemed unfathomable that Oyston would remain in charge 12 months later.

But this is Oyston we’re talking about, a man taking an “over my dead body” approach to walking away from the club.

As his daughter Natalie Christopher revealed in August, the club isn’t up for sale any more and Owen isn’t prepared to walk away.

It’s staggering that a man who is struggling to stump up £25m isn’t considering selling but there you go.

While exact details remain sketchy, I don’t expect the court hearing to deliver a killer blow.

It’s more likely to be another cog in the wheel to progress the already long-drawn out process.

Either way, we need something significant to halt the current impasse between the two parties.

Elsewhere, I was encouraged to learn this week that Blackpool supporter Jeremy Smith has been paid his legal costs by the Oystons.

The suing of fans by the Oystons is a dark stain on the football club blemishing its proud traditions.