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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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New offer for Coventry City

A new offer for Coventry City has been made by a consortium of local businessmen.   It includes plans for fan involvement.

It was recently suggested that the Australian consortium reported to be interested in Charlton Athletic had also taken a look at the Sky Blues.

Despite their mismanagement of the club, Sisu has never shown any willingness to sell up.

Question marks over would be Reading purchasers

The Chinese Dai family that are behind a proposed takeover of Reading were previously subject to a Premier League investigation that raised 'red flags' about their commercial background.   This happened when they made an earlier bid for Hull City.

Their most high profile investment is based on transforming unused air raid shleters in China into shopping malls.   They have to be vacated if war ever breaks out.   This raises the bizarre spectacle of people sheltering amid displays of luxury western goods.

Reading takeover near

The acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Reading by Chinese duo Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li appears to be closer.   They were involved in an unsuccessful bid for Hull City.  This week Lady Sasima Srivikorn, part of the Thai consortium that owns the club, said that running the club had become 'too costly'.

This was met with scorn by some Reading fans, given that majority shareholding Narin Niruttinanon has a bank balance of over £400m.

Chinese investors interested in Brentford

Chinese investors are interested in Brentford.   The club recently reported losses of £7.5m and there are question marks about how long owner and fan Matthew Benham can carry on pumping in £15m a year.

The International Investor Group already has a 80 per cent stake in Ligue 1 Nice.  A key figure in the group is Chien Lee, chief executive officer of NewCity Capital, a private investment company that focuses on the hospitality industry.

Australian bid for Charlton

An Australian consortium is bidding to take control of Charlton Athletic from unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet.

The plan is to make Charlton 'Australia's football club'.   Promising Australian talent would be showcased at The Valley.

The UK chairman of the consortium is the chairman of construction firm Balfour Beatty.

Chelmsford City takeover collapses

The takeover of Chelmsford City by construction company Jade Global Group has collapsed.  The club is now looking for new investment.   Having increased their playing budget after the takeover was announced last summer, the club is now facing short-term financial pressures.

The Clarets looked assured of a place in the National League South play offs.

Charlton is being sold

Despite denials by the club, Charlton Athletic fanzine editor Rick Everitt asserts that the club is being sold. The process is likely to be a long drawn out one of because of various complications such as loans owed to former directors of the club.  

However, various straws in the wind all seem to point in one direction.  Everitt is confident that it is the end of days for the regime of unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet.

Saints deal near

Southampton have received an improved offer from Lander Sports Development to buy a 100 per cent stake in the club for £190m.  The Chinese development company has proposed a phased takeover in which it would initially buy into the club before taking over full control.

Katharina Liebherr, the club's owner, rejected an offer of £180m in January.   Negotiations are now believed to be at an advanced stage.    The sale is being handled by the Zurich office of the international bank, UBS.

Billionaire bid for Pompey

American billionaire Michael Eisner, former chief executive of Walt Disney, is reported to be interested in launching a bid for Portsmouth FC.

A statement on the club's website said that if a bid was made it would be for shareholders to decide whether it was in the club's best interests.   Portsmouth Supporters' Trust is the largest shareholder.

City to expand global reach

Manchester City's owners are assessing a number of locations as they consider expanding their network of clubs.   The City Football Group already owns New York City and Melbourne City and has a share in Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos.

The Chinese Super League has been identified as a market with potential, while there have been reports of a possible move into South America.   Neither of these locations offers much in the way of gate money, but City may see commercial revenue opportunities.