Blackpool takeover talk overshadows Pugh signing

Blackpool FC planned to announce a new signing last night but ended up denying a takeover bid.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 12:23 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 1:44 am
Danny Pugh Picture: Blackpool FC

Little over an hour after confirming the signing of midfielder Danny Pugh from Bury, the Seasiders issued a statement to deny a Mail Online story claiming an offer to buy the club from the Oyston family had been submitted.

The statement read: “Blackpool Football Club would like to make clear that no offer has been received to takeover the club, despite a report on the Daily Mail’s website. The owners of the club, who held their most recent board meeting on July 4, with Kaspars Varpins in attendance on behalf of Valeri Belokon, have received no approach whatsoever from any investor or third party.”

The Mail story claims the bid is in the region of £10m and has been lodged by a third party on behalf of a potential investor.

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The club’s Latvian president Belokon, who has initiated High Court proceedings against the Oystons, has spoken in the past of a desire to take control of the club.

Owner Owen Oyston, addressing a Blackpool Supporters’ Trust meeting 10 days ago, claimed Belokon was interested only in taking money out of the club.

The takeover speculation overshadowed the signing of Pugh, whose arrival has been heralded in The Gazette in recent days. The 33-year-old joined the squad for their recent training camp in Scotland and has signed a one-year-contract with the option of a further year.

A virtual ever-present last season for Bury, who had offered him new terms, Pugh has made over 300 senior appearances, with extended stays at Preston, Stoke and Leeds (twice).

Pugh told the club’s official website: “It’s quite a young team but there seems to be a good mix. I’ve got a little bit of experience. I’m maybe older than a few of the lads, so hopefully I can bring something to the team. There’s a lot to achieve, promotion being the main one.”

He becomes the sixth signing by new manager Gary Bowyer, who sees Pugh’s experience and versatility as major assets to his squad. He can play across the midfield or in defence.

The manager said: “Danny met up with the squad in Scotland and his impact was instant success. He brings a wealth of experience to the team and will be a strong, vocal presence in the middle of the park.”