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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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Chinese offer for Newcastle

Mike Ashley is considering an offer from a Chinese consortium to invest in Newcastle United.   A stake rather than a full takeover seems to be on the table, but a minority investment could lead to a complete takeover in time.

Ashley values his stake at £350m -£400m which has so far deterred potential buyers, but the Chinese appetite for a slice of Premiership action is strong.   A substantial investment would help Newcastle to recruit top players.

Takeover interest at Sunderland

Sunderland are engaged in takeover talks with a German consortium that has a longstanding interest in English football.   The £110 million price tag on the club asked for by owner Ellis Short does not appear to have deterred them.

Sunderland are being advised by Dr Keith Harris who has advised on the purchase of many clubs including Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.

German tax probe could force Saints sale

The pressure on Katrien Liebherr to sell Southampton could increase as a result of an investigation by the German tax authorities.   The public prosecutor's office is investigating the tax liability of her late father, Markus Liebherr.

Portsmouth takeover approved

The takeover of Portsmouth Football Club by former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner has been approved.  80.3 per cent of the members of Portsmouth Supporters' Trust who own 48.5 per cent of the shares voted in favour of the deal.   Of the club's 'presidents', who hold the remainder of the shares, 75 per cent voted in favour.

Arsenal fans not happy with Kroenke

'Silent Stan' Kroenke may face a hostile reception from some Arsenal fans if he attends the FA Cup final on Saturday as anticipated.   Some supporters want him to step aside after minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov made a £1 billion offer for his 67 per cent stake.

After Kroenke Sports & Entertainment said that it was a 'committed long-term investor in Arsenal', the Arsenal Supporters Trust said that the use of the word 'investor' showed that Kroenke was only interested in making money.

Leicester's owners buy Belgian club

Leicester City's owners, King Power, have reached agreement to buy OH Leuven, a Belgian second division team.

What the relationship will be with Leicester City is unclear, but it could serve as a feeder club given the number of high quality players Belgium has produced in recent years.   It could also be used to give experience to Leicester players.

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.