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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Referee Ben Toner taken off Blackpool game following court case

The Oystons have been ordered to complete a buyout for £31.27m.

The EFL has insisted that it has changed the referee for Blackpool's match against Portsmouth because of the "increased scrutiny" and not due to the official's name.

On Monday, a High Court judge ordered Blackpool's majority owners, the Oyston family, to complete a full buy-out of the "entire interest" of VB Football Assets in Blackpool FC for £31.27 million.

VB Football Assets, a minor shareholder in Blackpool, brought an action against the Oystons and their companies alleging they had shown unfair prejudice against shareholders. The Oystons were said to have operated an "illegitimate stripping" of the club following their relegation to from the Premier League in 2010, and that there were "fundamental breaches" to the way they had run the business.

Saturday's League One match was due to be refereed by Ben Toner, but news of his name had led to much amusement on social media.

The EFL has now decided to switch Jon Moss, who is part of the select group of referees for the Premier League, to the game at Bloomfield Road. 

An EFL spokesman told The Guardian: "As a result of the increased attention surrounding this weekend's League One fixture between Blackpool and Portsmouth, PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited] has determined it would be appropriate for a select group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings at Bloomfield Road.

"The previously selected official will instead fill a vacancy that has a arisen at Brunton Park for the League Two match between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town as the referee who was scheduled to officiate sustained an injury during Bury's game with Stoke City Under-21s on Wednesday evening."

Toner will instead officiate the League Two game between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town.

Meanwhile, Blackpool have been put up for sale by the Oyston family.

A club statement confirmed the Oystons, who were refused permission to appeal by the High Court, were to apply directly to the Court of Appeal in order to further argue their case.

The League One side are now seeking "expressions of interest'' made to an independent nominee, which represents the first step towards eventual change of ownership at Bloomfield Road.

A club statement issued on Friday afternoon read: "The directors of Blackpool Football Club and Blackpool Football Club Properties are now in a position, following the conclusion of litigation, to market for sale Blackpool Football Club Limited and Blackpool Football Club Properties Limited.

"Substantial, external, non-football revenue is a major component of the properties business. Following the recent High Court judgement, legal counsel for the respondents have been instructed to apply for leave to appeal elements of the judgement with immediate effect.

"In the interim period, as throughout the litigation process, the focus of the football club's board remains on supporting the manager and continuing to negate the impact of off-field issues.''

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