Valeri Belokon: I hope a new chapter might begin soon

Valeri Belokon has issued a statement following Monday's court hearing
Valeri Belokon has issued a statement following Monday's court hearing

In a statement, Valeri Belokon says he hopes a new chapter might begin soon for Blackpool Football Club which allows it to return to "its former glory".

The statement, which was released via his representatives this morning, comes after another hugely significant day in the High Court on Monday.

Belokon, left, pictured with Owen Oyston

Belokon, left, pictured with Owen Oyston

Owen Oyston was ordered by Justice Marcus Smith to immediately pay up the £25m he owes Belokon – or face the consequences of enforcement action being taken to make him sell his assets.

That could potentially mean the football club going into receivership, although Belokon's legal representative told the judge his client he would not pursue action against the club.

Belokon issued the following statement: “Over the last few days I have been contacted by many Blackpool FC supporters who congratulated me with the outcome of litigation against the Oyston family.

“A number of you have also expressed concerns about the future of Blackpool Football Club.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the supporters for their well wishes, which are always gratefully received.

“Secondly, as was stated before the court two days ago, I would like to reassure you that I do not intend to take steps in enforcing the judgment that might jeopardise the future of Blackpool Football Club.

“I hope that the Oyston family will also seek to ensure that the club is protected over the coming months.

“The club has gone through a lot on and off the pitch in recent times.

“I have faith that the players and manager will continue working hard to produce a strong finish to the season and I hope that off the pitch a new chapter might begin soon that allows the club to return to its former glory.

“This is something what our legend Jimmy Armfield deserves: let's do everything what we all can do to return to the golden era of our beloved club! RIP Jimmy.”

READ MORE: Belokon and EFL respond after judge tells Oyston to pay up now – or Latvian can take his pick

The Oystons were found to have “illegally stripped” the club of money following its promotion to the Premier League in 2010 and was ordered last November to pay £31.27m, plus interest, to Mr Belokon.

At a High Court hearing in December, a judge ruled that he could pay in stages.

Oyston met the first £10m demand but failed to pay the second tranche by 31 January. And he returned to the court on Monday to ask for an extension until February 19 for a bridging loan for another £10m to be completed.

But Mr Justice Marcus Smith dismissed his application and instead reviewed the whole staging scheme, which included two lots of £7.5m by 30 March and 31 May.

He said Oyston had failed to progress the sale of assets, which had prejudiced Mr Belokon, and the Court of Appeal had now dismissed his application to overturn the original court judgement from last November.

The judge said he was keeping the order in place freezing various assets belonging to the Oyston Group.

But apart from that it was now appropriate to remove the staged payments and Mr Belokon can act at his “discretion” in how he enforced the financial obligations on Oyston.