1. ITV Report

Decision expected in Blackpool FC High Court battle

Owen Oyston (left) and Valeri Belokon (right) Photo: Press Association

Millionaire businessman Valeri Belokon is to find out if he has won a bitter High Court battle with the Oyston family over the running of Blackpool FC.

His company, VB Football Assets, a minor shareholder in Blackpool, brought an action against the Oystons and their companies alleging that they had shown unfair prejudice against shareholders.

Lawyers for VB Football complained that both Mr Belokon and his nominated directors were excluded from key decisions, information and share of profits.

Owen Oyston, Blackpool's majority shareholder, and his son Karl, the club's chairman, denied the accusations during a lengthy civil trial in London earlier this year before Mr Justice Marcus Smith.

They gave evidence that all financial transactions were conducted in an open and transparent manner.

The judge is to give a ruling on the dispute on Monday.

Latvian Mr Belokon, who resigned as a director of the club in August, accused the Oystons of improperly extracting tens of millions of pounds from the Lancashire club's funds after it enjoyed a cash "jackpot" after winning promotion to the Premier League in 2010.

He claimed they had treated the club as their own personal cash machine.

Mr Belokon said in a witness statement that he felt betrayed by the actions of the Oystons.

The judge has been urged to force the Oystons to buy out Mr Belokon's stake in the Seasiders, put in the region of #24 million.

The claim was also brought against Blackpool FC Ltd itself and Blackpool FC (Properties) Ltd, a company with Oyston family links formerly known as Segesta.

Alan Steinfeld QC, appearing for the club and the Oystons, told the judge that all payments were made "lawfully, openly with no attempt at concealment, and every single one of them was ratified by the board".

Mr Belokon, he argued, had suffered no unfair prejudice.