Terry Pritchard revealed as finance brains behind takeover bid for Blackpool FC
Mortgage industry stalwart Terry Pritchard has been revealed as the finance expert behind a Paul Stewart-fronted consortium which is attempting to buy Blackpool Football Club from owner Owen Oyston.
Former Blackpool and England player Stewart, who is based in the area, has been approached by a consortium of businessmen to lead their takeover bid.
The League One club is currently losing £2m a season owing to fans boycotting the stadium since 2016, while Blackpool has been on the market for more than a year.
Pritchard is the founder of Charter House Corporate Partners, the firm providing the funding.
He told Mortgage Introducer: “We are talking to more than one consortium and we’ll pick the one with the best chance of success.
“We’re committed to this and I think one of them will buy it. It’s a great club to buy.”
Pritchard has been involved with 11 clubs over the years and said he is mandating several at the moment. He has helped to finance takeovers at Bolton, Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as working with AFC Wimbledon on its new Plough Lane stadium.
Pritchard told Press Association Sport that he’s been aware of several previous attempts to buy Blackpool from Oyston and that this takeover attempt “is in its infancy”.
He added this consortium is “interesting because they have credibility, knowledge of the club and seem to have the ear of Valeri Belokon”.
Belokon is a Latvian banker who was Blackpool’s co-owner and chairman during their rise to the Premier League. He is owed £25m after a High Court Judgement in November 2017, which found that Owen Oyston and his son Karl, the club’s former chief executive, illegitimately stripped the club of money following its promotion to the Premier League in 2010.
Belokon could have asked for a court order to seize Blackpool at almost any point in the last year. However, he would not currently pass the English Football League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, owing to a money-laundering and tax evasion conviction he received in Kyrgyzstan in 2017.
Since Blackpool’s spell in the Premier League it has fallen to League Two, though it bounced back to League One in May 2017.
Pritchard also told the Press Association Sport: “They are not a lost cause at all – I have seen clubs in far worse financial positions.
“Blackpool are worth £10-12m and there is no reason why it can’t become a good investment, providing you get the gates back up again and you use the stadium and its hotel better, with concerts and other sports events.
“The key is to come up with a package that will give Belokon something up front but also an annual dividend going forward. I think he wants to stay involved with the club but not in a hands-on way and I suspect the EFL would allow that.
“I don’t know if the deal will come off, Owen Oyston is still a factor, but I have provided the consortium with proof of funds and they are definitely talking to Belokon.”