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Blackpool Football Club

Background

In March 2019 Hilco Appraisal Limited t/a Hilco Global was instructed by Paul Cooper and David Rubin of David Rubin & Partners, the Joint Receivers of Blackpool Football Club Limited (“Blackpool FC” or the “Club”) to assist in the sale and marketing of the Club and its related football assets.

Blackpool FC was founded in 1887 in the seaside resort of Blackpool, Lancashire, and is one of England’s longest-standing professional association football clubs. The Club currently plays in the EFL League One, having previously competed in the Premier League at the highest level of English football. The Club generates revenue from a number of channels, including sponsorship and commercial fees, gate receipts, tournament prize money and license income from televised games.

Blackpool FC’s home games are played at the Club’s Bloomfield Road Stadium, constructed in 1899 and extensively renovated since, which is located between Blackpool’s famous North and South piers, and is a five minute drive away from the town centre. The Club’s home games have been historically well- attended by the Club’s loyal following, known as ‘The Seasiders’ and the ‘Tangerine Army’ within the English game.

The Club has gained admiration over the years due to its success throughout the four tiers of English football. Blackpool FC was famously the first club to win promotion to all four tiers of English football through the play-off system, sealing the record in the 2009/10 season when the Club secured promotion to the Premier League for the first time in Blackpool FC’s history. Blackpool FC’s greatest period of success was arguably in the 1950s when the Club famously won the 1953 FA Cup final, coming back from 3-1 down to beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3. The game has since come to be known as the ‘Matthews Final’, due to the lauded performance of Blackpool FC winger, Sir Stanley Matthews, and his role in the comeback. Blackpool FC made a total of three FA Cup final appearances between 1948 and 1953, and cemented the Club’s successful 1950s era with four top six finishes in the Football League First Division, finishing second behind Manchester United in the 1955/56 season.

The Process

We assisted the Joint Receivers in managing the due diligence process and conducting a comprehensive sales and marketing exercise. We reached out to possible buyers with a marketing teaser and listed the sale opportunity on our website. We populated and managed a data room providing potential buyers with access and fulfilling their due diligence requirements as when required.

Outcome

A number of offers were received for the Club and after a highly competitive bidding process the Joint Receivers identified Simon Sadler as the winning bidder. Simon Sadler was himself a fan of the Club since a young age and was pleased to have triumphed as part of the bidding process. Simon Sadler, upon his acquisition of the Club, commented “I was very impressed by Hilco’s professionalism and proactive approach throughout the due diligence. I am delighted to have acquired Blackpool FC and look forward to building a long and successful future as the Club’s custodian.” Fan response has been positive upon learning of the news of Sadler’s acquisition with many taking to social media sites such as Twitter to share their enthusiasm at his appointment and their rejuvenated optimism towards the Club and its future.





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