Far East company bids £25m for Blackpool FC

A Singapore company is believed to have tabled a £25m bid for Blackpool FC.

Thursday, 7th June 2018, 1:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 11:25 am
Bloomfield Road

The Gazette has learned that vSport is looking to strike a deal to take complete control of the football club and Bloomfield Road stadium.

Such a deal would mean the Oyston family ceasing to have any involvement in the club.

It is believed talks between club owner Owen Oyston and vSport founder Qiang Bai have been ongoing since April, with significant progress made this week resulting in the formal bid.

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Bloomfield Road

Any potential deal has been hampered by the protracted legal dispute between Oyston and the former Blackpool FC director and president Valeri Belokon. The Latvian businessman is still owed around £24m by Oyston following a High Court ruling in his favour last November.

vSport has been assured all legal complications will be resolved by the end of this month, prompting the company’s Chinese-American founder Qiang Bai to make the bid.

Rumours of the talks between Owen Oyston and Qiang Bai began to circulate last month, when the Daily Mail published a picture of both men in front of Oyston’s woolly mammoth skeleton .

vSport issued a statement on May 20 to say the company would not be commenting on the rumours but was “actively pursuing commercial partnerships and investments globally through our trusted partners”.

It is thought the company first approached Blackpool FC to discuss a possible takeover at the start of 2017.

The Gazette understands that Oyston himself values the club at £45m but vSport would not entertain such a figure.

Oyston, 84, claimed at the start of April that a deal was close to being finalised with an unnamed investment group.

The only subsequent comment from Oyston has been a statement on April 26, saying a deal would be completed within the “next three to five days”.

vSport is involved in blockchain technology to develop digital currencies such as bitcoin and has been looking for an investment opportunity in English football.

The former Dutch international Wes Sneijder has links to the company but is not believed to be involved in the Blackpool takeover talks.