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Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
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BlackpoolSupportersTrust Offline
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Post: #1
Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
It will surprise no one to be told that Owen Oyston does not want to sell Blackpool Football Club, his most public symbol of wealth and power.

Many were sceptical when the official club statement was released late last year declaring that Blackpool FC was up for sale and - despite there being at least five interested parties (to the best of BST’s knowledge) - further evidence, both private and public, has emerged in recent weeks of the Oystons’ reluctance to engage in moving sale negotiations forward.

It is not clear to the Trust just how many of the interested parties are wishing to position serious bids. Several claim to have signed non-disclosure agreements with the owners but on the evidence of one potential buyer – as quoted extensively in the Gazette earlier this week – that “you cannot do business when you can’t see what you’re buying”, it appears that Owen Oyston is back-tracking and not willing to seriously entertain the possibility of selling to anyone.

It all lends credence to the belief that Owen is in denial. He had to be practically coerced into stumping up the first £10 million payment to Valeri Belokon in December, with a contempt of court charge staring him in the face. He has lodged an appeal against Judge Marcus Smith’s forensic ruling – surely a delaying tactic at best – and the next £10 million payment is due by the end of this month. He appears to hope that he can win an appeal, raise enough collateral to pay off Mr Belokon at a reduced rate and still remain in charge of the club he has controlled for the last 30 years…and if his hand is forced in any way then it looks as though he wants to hold out for retaining ownership of the stadium and merely selling the club in whole or in part as a franchise to new owners.

Any of those permutations are absolutely the last thing the fans want and the last thing the football club and the town need. The Oystons have to go!

The Trust has made it clear to such interested parties as we have had dialogue with that:
a) a franchise solution is not in the best interests of Blackpool FC. On commercial grounds it makes no sense – owning the stadium gives security of tenure and a base to build from; income from use of the stadium would be a necessary revenue stream for the club as it seeks to re-establish a sustainable future.

b) any continuing involvement of the Oystons is not in the best interests of Blackpool FC. On ethical grounds it is a doubtful proposition - the idea of the club paying rent to the Oystons for use of Bloomfield Road would not go down well; in fact any hint that Owen or Karl would retain any share-holding or influence in the running of the club or derive any financial benefit therefrom would be anathema to most supporters, especially those for whom Not A Penny More has been a sustained point of principle.

It doesn’t hurt to reiterate here that a change of ownership presents our best chance for a clean break with the dubious practices and toxic relations of the last several years. However, a change doesn’t necessarily bring an improvement. There are many examples of clubs changing hands only for the new owners to be as bad as or worse than their predecessors.

As supporters, we have every right to hope that whoever is looking to take over Blackpool FC will be better for the club, the fans and the community than the Oystons have proved to be – but sometimes something a bit more rigorous than hope is required. Any potential owner or investor with genuine intentions of rebuilding and revitalising Blackpool FC will surely need the good will of the thousands of fans who have been staying away precisely because of the actions and attitude of the Oystons. As the largest, democratic supporters organisation at the club, Blackpool Supporters’ Trust acting as the conscience of the fan base has a duty not only to voice ideas for a vision of the future (hence the draft manifesto syndicated in this column in the last two weeks) but also to seek an active involvement in the change process, working to identify good potential owners and to filter out bad ones.

Given that stated aim, the Trust suggests that any party with a serious ambition to make a bid for Blackpool FC should engage with BST (via secretary@blackpoolsupporterstrust.com in the first instance) for discussions on how best to regenerate our famous club.
12-01-2018 09:46
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whitstabletangerine Offline
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RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
I would have thought the sale process between seller and buyer would have been a fairly secretive affair, so how would BST have the opportunity to FILTER out the bad guys in all of this, at least not until the sale is completed and gone through.
12-01-2018 10:01
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Sir Stanley Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Starve him out the little weasel.

12-01-2018 11:02
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McPoolmob Online
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Post: #4
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Our only chance is for the appeal judge's to increase the amount the Oystons have to pay...
Which is a possibility.
12-01-2018 11:05
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TheSteed Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
(12-01-2018 10:01)whitstabletangerine Wrote:  I would have thought the sale process between seller and buyer would have been a fairly secretive affair, so how would BST have the opportunity to FILTER out the bad guys in all of this, at least not until the sale is completed and gone through.

I don't think BST are suggesting they would have any power to choose who purchases the club, but they can certainly relay their opinions about the potential buyer to the fan base.

Also, any buyer, as part of even the most minimal of due diligence, would want to gauge the attitude of fans to the club post Oystons and with them at the helm, and the easiest way to do that would be through BST.
12-01-2018 11:10
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TheSteed Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
(12-01-2018 11:05)McPoolmob Wrote:  Our only chance is for the appeal judge's to increase the amount the Oystons have to pay...
Which is a possibility.

I don't think it is, except maybe in terms of costs and interest.
12-01-2018 11:11
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seasider Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Surely they must understand there is no going back? Do you they honestly think they can run the football club for a few more years as it is now?
12-01-2018 11:13
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Tangerinenick Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
They are like a tick that will need digging out!
12-01-2018 12:45
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Magic147 Offline
Not a penny more

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Post: #9
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
BREAKING - OWEN OYSTON IS BEING A BELLEND.
12-01-2018 14:20
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Sir Stanley Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Turn on the thumb screws.
NAPM means NAPM
12-01-2018 16:27
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SirHaroldGrime Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Goals laudable, tone not so much. Keep in mind many things discussed in the Gazette article were as you will note "off the record."

There are a lot of misconceptions and poor deductions going on within the fan base complete with bogus figures. The figures quoted as past real cash bids are way off the mark. No consortium even looking at the figures that are in the public domain would table bids such as have been mentioned. I can tell you that even British analysts and we are talking pre-eminent in their field would take Wigan or Barnsley over Blackpool. Blackpool is a rundown club with rundown facilities.

It is a tough sell. Some foreign investors have experience of working and investing in British companies; some even went to school or received their MBA's via Trium for example, so they understand the culture. Some have not but either way they don't respond well to being told what to do. Forthright yes, but wrap it in humbleness and realize that if they invest in Blackpool FC, they are investing in a loss-making business which has no chance for profitability unless promotions are achieved, the stadium utilized for more than 25 days a year, and players are sold on for a profit when it is prudent to do so.

By the very nature of putting their money into the club they are on your side so don't come at them with a sense of entitlement. Come at them with a sense of gratitude and ask "how can we help"? The exclusion to that is any carpetbagger who comes into town. At this stage, the most useful thing BST can do is accomplish what was set out in the source of the Gazette posts.

As for what will happen? There are only four scenarios (in our opinion):

1. Owen has a relative who can use offshore monies to pay the fine. A risky play as money leaves a trail. That said even if he pays the fines all the way to the end of the judgment his only real loss is pride and current operating expenses. It's still a winning proposition for Owen, and he once again has total control. If the fans boycott the club, he puts it into administration, and the land which is the foundation of his entire fortune can be used for other purposes.

2. If the Gazette is to be believed, Owen sells off assets piecemeal. I'd say that could well be an accurate assumption but keeping the club, whilst trying to sell assets or taking loans based on assets doesn't make for a cohesive or sensible picture one way or the other.

3. Once again if the Gazette story is accurate, then attempting to be a landlord to future club owners is madness. No owner will agree to those terms.

4. The Oyston's decide to sell up and avoid any further aggravation. This option makes sense if they can settle with Belokon after the next payment on January 31st as the club becomes a low-risk investment for Belokon and his reputed investment partners once he has received the second payment. The Oystons are still in profit at that point.

If the second payment is made to Belokon, the deal to other potential owners becomes more of a long shot as there is less motivation for stakeholders to reach an amicable compromise that benefits the club and town. So as stated in the Gazette new owners becomes, in essence, a one-horse race.

The one wild card in all of this is if the Oystons disappoint Judge Marcus Smith on January 31st and acting on his earlier threat the judge appoints a receiver to dispose of assets in a timely manner. One thing the Gazette article did accomplish was to provide yet another written timestamp that shows the Oystons are not helping potential investors accomplish their due diligence. The owners know full well what is required from them in this deal and their behavior will have repercussions.

Last but not least. Foreign investors don't read these message boards. They read reports from their accountants and analysts based on data. The objective is, do I invest in this enterprise or not, how much is it going to cost me and how do I make money?
12-01-2018 17:07
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SirHaroldGrime Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Think of this as a P.s. After flying under the radar for months, the Gazette debacle wherein things were used that were off the record or fabricated the last thing anyone would do is contact you directly. Too many leaks I'm afraid and that serves no purpose at this juncture.
13-01-2018 16:29
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Bally Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
OK
13-01-2018 16:38
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Magic147 Offline
Not a penny more

Posts: 16,278
Joined: Sep 2012
Post: #14
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
What's going on here?

Is SirHaroldGrime the bidder? Is the bidder SandGrownUnDeux? Was the Gazette interview correct? What details were omitted? Will there ever be any answers to these questions? What's it all about, Alfie?
13-01-2018 16:56
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Lancashirehotpot Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Owen appears unwilling to sell to anyone: BST Gazette column
Is it Harold, the mild mannered janitor?
14-01-2018 03:39
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