Blackpool: Court rules Oyston family will be forced to sell shares in club if debt not paid

Blackpool finished 12th in League One last season
Blackpool finished 12th in League One last season

Blackpool's owners, the Oyston family, will be forced to sell their shares in the club if an outstanding debt is not paid by 5 July, a court has ruled.

The Oystons were ordered to buy out ex-director Valeri Belokon's company, VB Football Assets, for £31m after a High Court trial in November.

An initial £10m payment was made by the family, however, a second similar sum, that was due in February, was not paid.

Seven properties owned by the Oystons could also be sold under the ruling.

An order of sale will come into force on the properties as well as shares in the Closelink group, which owns land to build a proposed large-scale housing development, and Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Limited, if the Oystons fail to pay the remainder of the debt within two weeks.

Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Limited owns the majority of the League One club's shares, as well as their Bloomfield Road home and Squires Gate training ground.

Control could then move to VB Football Assets, who would be able to sell the assets privately or at auction, with a minimum sale value of 75% of the assessed valuation set by the court.

In Thursday's hearing at the Rolls Building, in London, the Oystons claimed sales were in progress on some of the seven properties, which cannot be named due to their commercial sensitivity, and applied for a six-week adjournment in order to complete them.

This was turned down by the court, while the Oystons were ordered to pay £65,000 costs within 28 days.