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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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Forest set for takeover

Regardless of the results of today's games Greek shipping magnate and former Olympiacos owner Evangelos Mariankis is set to complete his takeover of Nottingham Forest.   This will end the controversial five year reign of Kuwaiti businessman Fawaz al-Hawasi who has managed to get through eight managers.  Let's hope it's not a case of out of the frying pan into the fire.

Why do investors buy non-league clubs?

A correspondent sent me some interesting questions about investors who get involved in non-league football and I thought it would be worth reproducing them and my answers here.

Charlton takeover talks stall

Talks for a takeover of Charlton Athletic by an Australian football consortium have stalled, but may yet be revived.   Unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet is willing to consider offers.

The consortium were prepared to pay £25m, a substantial sum for a League One club, but had difficulty in raising the money.   They are now looking at alternative ways of securing the required funds.

Bid for Port Vale

A takeover offer for relegated Port Vale has been made by the owners of Burslem-based IT company Synectics Solutions. The company has an annual turnover of £13m and its headquarters are near Vale Park.

The offer is for £1.25m which is the amount owner Norman Smurthwaite paid with his then business partner when taking the club out of administration in 2012.  However, he claims to have ploughed in £3.7m since then.

Leeds buy out deal near

Leeds United co-owner Andrea Radrizzani is negotiating to buy out the 50 per cent share of the club held by Massimo Cellino.  He had an option to buy the shares at the end of the season.

Cellino has been a controversial figure at Elland Road and has been the subject of various bans by the football authorities.   His replacement would give the club some much needed stability.

Eisner wants 100 per cent stake in Pompey

Former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner and his Tornante investment group wants to purchase a 100 per cent stake in Portsmouth. He is willing to pay £5.67m.

The Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) control 48 per cent of the shares.  Tornante have made a heritage share proposal which would allow the protection of certain identified issues and vetoes exercised by the PST.

Chinese interest in Palace

Crystal Palace could be the latest club to fall into Chinese ownership.   There has been interest from Double Edged Sports (Desports), a Chinese marketing company that wants to acquire another football club after purchasing La Liga's Granada last year.

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.