VB Football Assets Litigation With Owen And Karl Oyston Litigation Over The Ownership Of Blackpool Football Club


Clifford Chance has secured a further victory on behalf of its client, VB Football Assets (VBFA), in the long-running dispute against Owen and Karl Oyston over the ownership and management of Blackpool Football Club.

Following a hearing before Mr Justice Marcus Smith, the judge concluded that a receiver should be appointed over the assets of Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Ltd, which includes a majority shareholding in Blackpool FC, its stadium, training ground and a nearby Travelodge Hotel. Clifford Chance understands that the appointment represents the first of its kind in the football industry.

The decision comes after a November 2017 judgment in which the same judge found that the Oystons had unfairly prejudiced VBFA’s shareholding in Blackpool FC by extracting in excess of £26 million in disguised dividends, following the Club’s lucrative promotion to the Premier League in 2010. Consequently, Owen Oyston, Karl Oyston and Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Ltd were ordered to buy out VBFA’s shareholding in the Club for £31.27 million.

Despite the efforts of VBFA, profound difficulties were encountered in enforcing the judgment debt, of which in the region of £25 million remains outstanding. It was on that basis that VBFA sought the appointment of a receiver by way of equitable execution. Such an order is unusual, enabling the receiver to take control of assets which would otherwise not be susceptible to the ordinary processes of enforcement.

Litigation partner Chris Yates (Picture) led the team and supported by James Cranston, Emma Mack and Rory Scott. The team was further assisted by finance Partner John MacLennan and Senior Associate Giles Allison.

Involved fees earner: Giles Allison – Clifford Chance; James Cranston – Clifford Chance; Emma Mack – Clifford Chance; John MacLennan – Clifford Chance; Rory Scott – Clifford Chance; Chris Yates – Clifford Chance;

Law Firms: Clifford Chance;

Clients: VB Football Assets;