Blackpool fan Simon Sadler has completed a 96.2 per cent acquisition of the club following approval of the purchase by the English Football League.
The deal concludes a protracted saga surrounding the Bloomfield Road side who in February were seized by the High Court from former owner Owen Oyston, with joint receivers Paul Cooper and David Rubin placed in charge.
It has taken four months to find a suitable buyer, who should now settle Oyston’s £25million debt to the club’s former president Valeri Belokon.
Sadler, born and raised in Blackpool, is currently CEO of Hong Kong-based asset management business Segantii Capital Management, a company he founded in 2007.
As part of the deal, Sadler has purchased the stadium, training ground and Blackpool Football Club Hotel Limited.
“It is my great honour and privilege to become the owner and custodian of Blackpool Football Club,” said Sadler, who also owns Sir Stanley Matthews’ 1953 FA Cup winner’s medal, which is on loan to the National Football Museum in Manchester.
In a statement on the club’s website, Sadler added: “By providing financial stability and investment over time, my intention is for the club to achieve its full potential. I will ensure that the club is managed with the interests of all stakeholders in mind.
“I would like to thank the joint receivers and the current board, management and staff for having chaperoned the club during this time of transition.
“I would also like to thank the fans and the wider community for re-engaging with the club after a lengthy period of turmoil.”
Fans had staged a boycott of home matches in protest at Oyston’s ownership before finally returning once he was removed from office.
Former Inter Milan chief executive and former Manchester United chief operating officer Michael Bolingbroke, who joined the board as executive chairman in early April after previously working as a consultant for a month, will retain his role whilst Sadler “familiarises himself with the operations of the club”.
Alongside Bolingbroke, managing director Ben Hatton and non-executive director Ian Currie will also continue in their positions in the short term
Sadler will be joined on the board by Brett Gerrity, described as “a solicitor, a long-term Fylde coast resident and a close and trusted friend”, and who will serve as “a proponent of constructive engagement between the club and its supporters”.
Assessing the takeover, Bolingbroke said: “We are very pleased to welcome Mr Sadler as our new owner, and Mr Gerrity as a board member.
“Mr Sadler is investing in a club with undoubted potential, and his investment will benefit not just the first-team squad, but also help improve the club’s training facilities and academy programme and will actively assist in the club’s re-engagement with the Blackpool community.
“Exciting times are ahead!”
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