Blackpool will not lose any points following February’s appointment of joint receivers, the English Football League has said.
Under EFL rules, clubs that experience an “insolvency event”, such as being placed in administration, are usually subject to a 12-point deduction, as they are seen to have gained an unfair advantage by shedding debts other better-run clubs have met.
The appointment of receivers by a judge – in this case to force through the League One club’s sale to settle ex-owner Owen Oyston’s £25million debt to former business partner Valeri Belokon – could have been viewed in this light.
But the EFL board has decided this is a special case, unrelated to the club’s actual financial position, and the points penalty was therefore “not applicable”.
In a statement, the EFL said: “Based on the evidence presented and the judgement of the court, the board agreed that the appointment of the receiver is not material to the club’s ability to fulfil its obligations as a member club and as a result should not be regarded as having suffered an insolvency event.”
The news was quickly welcomed by the Bloomfield Road club, with joint receiver Paul Cooper describing it as “excellent news”.
Cooper said he was also “delighted” for manager Terry McPhillips and the players “as they know exactly where they stand for the remainder of this campaign and next season”, a reference to the fact that the deduction could have been imposed immediately or at the start of the next campaign.
“It also allows the sale process to continue with a greater degree of clarity and certainty,” he added.
Blackpool are currently eighth in League One, eight points off the last play-off spot, with five games to play.
In other business, the EFL board confirmed that Birmingham’s nine-point penalty for breaching the league’s profitability and sustainability rules will stand as neither the club nor the league has decided to appeal the independent disciplinary commission’s decision.
It also said it still had not received a “definitive application” from Coventry as to where they will play their games next season. An extraordinary general meeting of clubs has been called to consider their expulsion from the league on April 25 if the matter is not resolved.
The board also said it is “extremely concerned” about the financial crisis at League Two’s Bury, who were given a month to settle an unpaid tax bill of more than £200,000 by the high court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey has offered to meet the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust ahead of a planned open meeting on April 15 to discuss the next steps at that crisis-hit club.