Jonathan Disley - the man identified by The Gazette last week as the mystery man in talks over a potential investment in Blackpool Football Club - has been pictured with Owen Oyston at today’s friendly at Port Vale.
The businessman - dubbed the ‘King of Marbella’ - has been in talks with Oyston for several weeks and even joined him for his trip to Latvia, where he held talks with Valeri Belokon.
While the nature of the proposed investment remains unclear, it is understood it could involve Oyston taking out a third-party loan which would likely involve huge interest payments.
It has also been rumoured that the deal could involve Disley taking a majority share of Blackpool Football Club Properties (Limited) - the Oyston-owned company formerly known as Segesta that has the controlling stake in the football club.
In 2013, Disley was jailed for four-and-a-half years for a £675,000 bank fraud.
Preston Crown Court heard a gang, headed by Disley, targeted companies which were in financial difficulty, took them over and stripped them of their assets.
However, last year Disley’s conviction was later quashed at the Court of Appeal.
In December 2015, he was pictured with Dean Holdsworth at the time his company Sports Shield Consortium were launching their takeover of Bolton Wanderers.
Any involvement in the club was never confirmed.
In an interview with a national newspaper in 2010, Disley said he built his empire by running security on the doors of nightclubs in Manchester.
Following the summit in Riga on July 4, representatives for Belokon told The Gazette the meeting with went well and are hopeful the talks will help to bring about a resolution.
It is understood Oyston, who still owes £25m to Belokon following last year’s High Court judgement, travelled to Latvia with his daughter, club chairman Natalie Christopher, as well as Disley.
It appears Oyston persuaded Belokon to grant him 14 days - a deadline that expired last Wednesday - to wrap up a deal that could go some way to repaying the debt and further news is expected this week.
In the meantime, the auctioning off of Oyston assets to raise funds was put on hold.
The Oystons were ordered to buy out Belokon for £31.27m after it was found they had illegitimately stripped the club of cash following promotion to the Premier League in 2010.
Justice Marcus Smith found then that the Oystons had unfairly prejudiced the Latvian, who accused them of “improperly” extracting tens of millions of pounds from the club.
The judge found in his favour and the club was put up for sale four days later.