Blackpool: EFL chooses not to impose 12-point deduction after receivers appointed

Blackpool finished 12th in League One last season
Blackpool would have dropped to within three points of the League One relegation zone if they had been deducted 12 points

Blackpool will not be deducted 12 points as a result of going into receivership, the English Football League has confirmed.

Receivers were appointed by the High Court in February, forcing then-owner Owen Oyston to pay ex-director Valeri Belokon the £25m he is owed.

According to EFL regulations, any club that become subject to an insolvency event, including the appointment of a receiver, could be deducted 12 points.

The Seasiders are eighth in League One.

The EFL board said they "agreed that the appointment of the receiver is not material to the club's ability to fulfil its obligations as a member club and as a result should not be regarded as having suffered an insolvency event, meaning a 12-point deduction is not applicable".

It added that the decision was "based on the information presented" and the board "reserved the right to review the matter should the position subsequently change in the future".

Latvian businessman Belokon had been in dispute with Oyston for several years and, in November 2017, successfully sued both Oyston and his son Karl, the club's former chairman.

Belokon accused them of improperly extracting tens of millions of pounds from the Lancashire club's funds after it enjoyed a windfall when winning promotion to the Premier League in 2010. The Oystons denied the allegations.

Karl Oyston was later replaced as chairman by his sister, Natalie Christopher.

She and Owen Oyston were removed from the club's board soon after February's High Court ruling, while many Blackpool supporters ended their long boycott of home matches.

Blackpool 'delighted' with EFL decision

Blackpool's receivers, Paul Cooper and David Rubin, said last month that they had had 59 expressions of interest in taking over the club.

They appointed Michael Bolingbroke as executive chairman this week.

Cooper said the decision not to deduct Blackpool, who are eight points outside the play-offs, any points was "excellent news".

"I am delighted for (manager) Terry McPhillips and the players because they now know exactly where they stand for the remainder of this campaign and next season," he said.

"It also allows the sale process to continue with a greater degree of clarity and certainty over the club's position following the EFL's ruling."

EFL board 'extremely concerned' about Bury

Blackpool's case was one of a number discussed at a board meeting on Thursday.

As well as deciding not to deduct Blackpool 12 points, they said:

  • Championship club Birmingham City have decided not to appeal against the nine-point deduction they received last month for breaching profitability and sustainability rules.
  • Coventry City are yet to send the board a definitive plan of where they plan to play their home games next season. The League One side face expulsion from the League if they fail to provide a solution by 25 April. Coventry say they are in talks over two potential groundshare options, although their "number one priority" is to stay at the Ricoh Arena.
  • Bury had a winding-up petition adjourned until 15 May on Wednesday, with players and staff still to be paid their March wages. The situation there was described as "extremely concerning".
  • EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey has offered to meet with Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Trust as the beleaguered Championship side's search for a new owner continues.

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