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Latvian banker buys British football club

May 22, 2006
TBT staff

A LATVIAN investor has plunged 7.4 million euros 's or 5 million pounds sterling - into England's Blackpool Football Club.
Valerijs Belokons, part-owner of the Baltic International Bank, also hopes to become president of Blackpool after buying a majority stake in the club.
The purchase was announced in Riga on May 19 after Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston and acting manager Simon Grayson met with Belokons.
He was the only serious investor vying for the club, Oyston has previously said.
The sale will be finalized once the deal is approved by a club general meeting on June 19.
Belokons has expressed interest in replacing Oyston as president, and said he would like to see the club lifted from its current place in the third-rung league, the Coca-Cola Football League One, in which it is 19th amongst the 24 teams in the tournament.
He follows in the footsteps of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who purchased Chelsea Football Club, but he has distanced himself from such comparisons.
"I am not Roman Abramovich, I am Valerijs Belokons," he told British media. He said he would like to see the club's position improve so he could earn back his investment.
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