Owen Oyston and his son Karl, the owners of Blackpool football club, are understood to have missed the 31 January deadline for the second £10m instalment of £31.27m they were ordered by the high court to pay the club’s minority shareholder Valeri Belokon for his shares.
A court hearing scheduled for Monday is understood to be for Mr Justice Smith to consider an application from the Oystons for more time to pay the overdue £10m.
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Smith found in his judgment in November that the Oystons, long-term owners of Blackpool, had “illegitimately stripped” the club following lucrative promotion to the Premier League in 2010. Belokon, a Latvian banker, had previously paid £4.5m for his stake and invested further on the understanding he would be in equal partnership with the Oystons.
However they paid £26.77m out of the club to their own companies, including £11m described in the 2010-11 accounts as a salary for Owen Oyston. Their conduct was in “fundamental breach” of their duties as directors and their obligations to Belokon, Smith found, concluding that the payments were improper. On Monday the Oystons’ application for permission to appeal against the judgment was refused.
Smith ordered all the Oystons’ financial, property and other assets be frozen while their value is assessed, and ordered £10m be paid by 4 December, which was met. Following Wednesday’s deadline which the Oystons missed, they are due to pay a further £7.5m by 31 March and the balance, £7.1m, by 31 May. They must also pay their own considerable legal costs and those of Belokon, who was represented by the London solicitors Clifford Chance and Andrew Green QC.
The Oystons put the club and its related property company, which includes a hotel, up for sale days after Smith’s judgment but there have been no buyers yet. Supporters protesting against the family’s ownership for years were further exasperated last month when Karl Oyston’s son Sam, who has worked at the club since 2011, was appointed chief executive.