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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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New pressure on Liverpool owners

Whatever the new management team at Liverpool can achieve to restore the club's fortunes is going to be constrained both financially and in terms of stability as long as the ownership question is not resolved.   The general view is that Tom Hicks and George Gillett have set too high an asking price, given that any new owner would be expected to fund a new stadium in Stanley Park.  Indeed, that is essential if the club is to progress.

AS Roma put up for sale

AS Roma has officially been put up for sale.   As part of a broader deal to settle their debts with the UniCredit bank the Sensi family have transferred their 67 per cent stake in the club to a new company which then be put up for sale by the bank.   Ironically, the chief executive of UniCredit, Alessandro Profumo, is a keen fan of Inter Milan.

Rangers taken off the market

We upset some Rangers fans by suggesting that the bid by the Andrew Elllis consortium was going nowhere, but now the club has been taken off the market.   The Ellis bid was frequently talked up, but seemed to be more about publicity than substance.

Deepdale deal near

It looks as if leisure tycoon Trevor Hemmings is close to securing control of Preston North End.  He now has just over 68 per cent of the shares and only needs 7 per cent more to delist the club and take it off the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).    London-based shareholder and fan Paul Wilkinson who owns a 12 per cent block of shares has accepted his 5p a share offer.

Rangers bid close to collapse

Although Radio 5 carried a report earlier this morning that the takeover bid for Rangers by Andrew Ellis might be nearing completion, the view north of the border is that the whole deal could be close to collapse with Ellis unable to come up with the required funds.

Take the money!

Fifty years ago there was a quiz show in which contestants had the choice of taking a sum of money or opening the box.   The box might contain a bigger prize than the money being offered or it could be something trivial and worthless.   The audience always used to shout 'Open the box!' stating a clear preference for risk takers.

Usmanov strengthens Arsenal stake

Alisher Usmanov has shown that he's still very much in the running in the battle to acquire Arsenal.  He is thought to have spent around £300,000 on shares in the last week which shows that there are still small pockets of shares out there to buy, although they are getting scarcer and more expensive.  His latest purchases bring his stake closer to 27 per cent rather than 26 per cent, but Stan Kroenke remains the biggest shareholder.

Red Knights' bid on hold

The bid by the Red Knights consortium for Manchester United has been shelved after the Glazers attached a £1.5bn price tag to the club.  The consortium was thought to be prepared to offer £850m to £1bn.   With Sir Alex Ferguson's future uncertain, little money spent recently on players and debts increasing the club did not look that attractive.

Moores tells Yanks to quit

It would be hard to find someone who would defend the stewardship of Geofrge Gillett Jnr and Tom Hicks at Liverpool.   A great club has been undermined and its future prospects damaged.  Nevertheless, a further blow to the embattled American owners comes in the form of what The Times describes as an 'emotional and wide-ranging letter' from former owner David Moores.  The paper is already regarded as the house journal of the Coalition Government.

Super rich Nigerian bids for Arsenal stake

Aliko Dangote, a billionaire Nigerian industrialist, is one of the bidders for the 16 per cent stake in Arsenal being sold by Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith.   He certainly has the readies, as Forbes magazine has ranked him among the world's 500 richest people, with a fortune estimated at £1.7 billion.