Blackpool FC’s majority owner must be forced to buy out the club president’s stake to end a legal dispute, a QC has told a High Court judge.Owen Oyston is accused by Valeri Belokon of improperly extracting millions of pounds from the club after its Premier League promotion in 2010.Mr Oyston and his son Karl deny “unfair prejudice” against shareholders.Andrew Green QC, for Mr Belokon, said “misconduct in their dealings” with the club made “a pretty ugly picture”.During the case hearings Mr Oyston has denied personally exploiting the club funds.Latvian Mr Belokon is acting through his firm VB Football Assets, which is a minor shareholder in the club. Mr Green told Mr Justice Marcus Smith, sitting in London, that when the case began four weeks ago “from the moment the cherries had lined up on the Premiership fruit machine”, the Oystons treated the club as “their own personal cash machine”.
He said it was “simply incontrovertible” Mr Belokon had suffered unfair prejudice at the hands of the Oystons and their companies.Mr Green argued the appropriate remedy “should be nothing other” than the Oystons and their companies buying out Mr Belokon’s interests.He suggested Owen Oyston and club chairman Karl, would not have funds immediately available to repay the loans taken from the club following receipt of Premiership money.’Exorbitant’ buyout proposedHe said there was no realistic prospect of those loans being repaid to the club while it remained under Oyston family control.If a court order led to the football business having to be sold to a new owner to raise funds for the buyout, that was likely to be popular with supporters currently boycotting Blackpool because of the Oystons, he added.But Owen Oyston has told the court Mr Belokon, who purchased a 20% shareholding in 2006, made a decision in 2011 to “exit the club and prepare for legal action” after his earlier bid to acquire a 50% share failed.Mr Belokon proposed in 2013 the board should “buy him out for an exorbitant £24.15 million”, said Mr Oyston. The case continues.
Source: BBC Lancashire