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Today the High Court of Justice in London begins tria: Belokon vs Oystons

Valeri Belokon. Photo^Vfris Morkans.
Today the High Court of Justice in London begins trial: Mr Belokon’s company VB Football Assets (a shareholder in Blackpool Football Club) claim for unfair prejudice against Messrs Owen Oyston and Karl Oyston and their companies. Court proceedings in London expected to last until 7 July.

Since the Club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2010, millions of pounds of BFC monies have been transferred by the Oystons from the BFC to Oystons’ companies through granting unsecured interest-free loans and by paying GBP 11 million, as the Director’s remuneration, to Owen Oyston.

These activities were carried out by Oystons without informing Mr Belokon, without his involvement in the decision-making. Mr Belokon was not paid a profit share due to him, thus violating his minority shareholder rights.

At the same time Oystons did not invest adequate resources into the football team, despite the fact that so-called parachute payments from the Premier League over the few years reached more than 100 million pounds. As a result, a team has dropped from the Premier League to the fourth tier league in a few years time.

When Valeri Belokon joined Blackpool Football Club in 2006, he invested more than GBP 10 million in a number of areas which were pivotal to the development of the BFC. The purchase of Blackpool FC shares brought the Club money to be invested in team. The Investment Agreement with Segesta Limited guaranteed the necessary stadium-infrastructure improvements and construction of new stands for the convenience of the supporters. Mr Belokon also established a special-purpose Fund for buying highly qualified players.

These Mr Belokon’s investments and his active participation in the development of the club allowed Blackpool Football Club to get into the Premier League in a few years time.

Earlier this year (in February) Manchester Mercantile Court ruled in favour of company owned by Valeri Belokon in his dispute against Oyston family and their company "Segesta Limited" on failing to fulfil obligations of the 2008 Investment Agreement. The court ruled that the Oyston family without due reason had not paid Mr. Belokon profit share from his investments in the stadia. The amount due is around 1 million pounds. The court also ruled that the Oystons family have to compensate litigation costs (initial amount 425,000 GBP).
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