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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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Investors focus on lower leagues

Global investors are increasingly focusing on Leagues 1 and 2 as they seek investment opportunities in football, according to the latest annual survey of football finance directors by accountants BDO.

No less than 73 per cent of League Two clubs have received an approach from potential investors in the last year.   Investors are interested in the potential for growth in clubs with stable business models.

Chinese group buys AC Milan

The Chinese long march into European football continues with the acqusition of AC Milan from Silvio Berlusconi by a state-backed Chinese group.   Finnvest, the holding company controlled by Mr Berlusconi, has stated that it has signed a preliminary contract with a group of Chinese investors for a 99.93 per cent stake in AC Milan that valued the club at €740m including debts of €220m.

Baggies are third Midlands club to go Chinese

West Bromwich Albion are the third Midlands club to go into Chinese ownership in the last few months, following Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Yunki Golao Sports Development are the new owners in which Guochan Lai is the majority shareholder. He has been associated with the development of 'eco towns' in the past.

When is a city a city?

Some clubs from relatively small towns have the name 'City' after their title, e.g., Ely City.   This is because they are the home to a cathedral, but the secular status of being a 'city' is quite different.   It has been recently granted to Brighton and Wolverhampton, for example.

Gulls takeover reaches crisis point

The prospective takeover of Torquay United has reached crisis point with bidders Gaming International issuing what the Torquay United Supporters Trust has described as an ultimatum to Torbay Council.

It has now emerged that Swindon-based Gaming International, operating through their subsidiary Riviera International Limited, want to take ownership of Plainmoor and then build a new ground elsewhere. Torbay Council currently own the freehold of Plainmoor.   It is quite an extensive site in a built up area of Torquay with development potential.

Wolves sold to Chinese conglomerate

The growing Chinese presence in English football has been strengthened by the acquistion of Wolves by Chinese conglomerate Fosun heded by Guo Guangchang.   The group has leisure and entertainment interests around the world.

Gulls fans still in the dark

Torquay United fans are still in the dark about the club's future after its annual general meeting.  The takeover deal with Swindon-based Gaming International seems to be stuck in the sand.  Moreover, the cash strapped club may have to pay back a £50,000 loan if the deal falls through.

Three way tussle for Dagenham and Redbridge

Relegated Dagenham & Redbridge are hardly the most glamorous club in London, but there is a three way tussle to acquire the club.   

Big plans for Bangor City

A Cheshire-based consortium that has taken over Bangor City has big plans for the North Wales club, They plan to pump in at least £100,000 a year as they seek to end the domination of the Welsh Premier Leage by The New Sants.   The real attraction is perhaps not the WPL title, but the chance of Champions League football.

Forest takeover may hit snags

Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Mariankis has been linked with taking a majority stake in Nottingham Forest for some time now.    Some reports suggest that a deal to acquire a 80 per cent holding may be imminent.

Mariankis is the owner of the Piraeus based team Olympiakos.   They have been crowned champions for six consecutive years, this year by a record 28 points.