Legal battle engulfs football club

The owners of Blackpool FC have faced allegations that they used the club as their “personal cash machine.”

The Oyston family have become embroiled in a wide-reaching legal battle, triggered by the club’s president, Valeri Belokon.

It has been claimed that Mr Belokon’s company, VB Football Assets, which had been a minor shareholder at Blackpool FC, was excluded from major decisions and any share of the profits.

In an opening statement at the High Court last week, the businessman’s legal team also alleged that the Oystons had “improperly” extracted millions of pounds for their own purposes.

In a witness statement, Mr Belokon, a Latvian national, said: “If even a small proportion of these substantial sums had been used to purchase and pay players, I believe the club would never have found itself in its current position.”

VB Football is pursuing a claim of “unfair prejudice” against shareholders, which has been vehemently denied by Owen and Karl Oyston – Blackpool FC’s owner and chairman.

It has been a tumultuous few years for the club’s supporters. In 2010, the side had been promoted to the Premier League, but is now languishing in the lower divisions. Mr Belokon has argued that a failure to invest was to blame for the dramatic collapse in Blackpool FC’s fortunes.

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Mohit Pasricha

Mohit Pasricha

Solicitor at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Mohit is a member of Mackrell Turner Garrett’s Corporate and Commercial Department in London. He joined the firm as a trainee in 2014, having completed a Law LLB at the University of Surrey and a Legal Practice Course at the University of Law.