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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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Saudi Arabian investors target London clubs

Saudi Arabian investors are reported to be targeting London clubs for takeover after it was decided to privatise the country's national football league.   Up to now most teams have been government owned, but a study from Deloitte recommended the change.

Bolton deny Saudi takeover reports

Bolton Wanderers have denied reports that they are in talks with a Saudi-based group about a takeover. In September chairman Ken Anderson did say that he was looking for more investment from abroad.

Before the takeover deal by a consortium in March the club had accumulated debts of £170m, although these were cleared as part of the settlement.   The club are currently under a transfer embargo for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play obligations.

Red Bull in market for English club

Red Bull are reported to be in the market for an English football club to add to those they own in Germany and Austria.  It would be a logical next move for them given the prestige associated with the Premier League.

The director of sports at RB Leipzig recently attended games at Brentford, Charlton and Chelsea. However, none of these clubs is for sale.  Charlton have had difficulties with their current Belgian owner, but it seems that the Charlton visit focused on a possible player acquisition.

Chinese company interested in Southampton

Southampton are the latest club to attract interest from Chinese investors.    Talks are being held with Lander Sports Development, a company that recently posted year end losses of around $59 million. Their last involvement in sport was a deal to promote curling in China before the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Southampton would be the biggest English club to be taken over by Chinese investors.   The price tag is thought to be around £200 million.

Forest takeover nears completion

The takeover of Nottingham Forest by a consortium led by American businessman John Jay Moores is nearing completion.   He has a background in Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres and was involved in an unsuccessful bid to acquire Everton and also Swansea City.

Kuwati owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has withdrawn his proposal to keep a stake in the club which will be sold for around £50m.

Motherwell in fan ownership

After a process that began in 2015, Motherwell FC have gone into fan ownership.  As some of those involved point out, the challenge now is to make it work.   It will require additional financial support from fans.

AFC Telford recently abandoned fan ownership, becoming the fifth club to do so.  Notts County, York, Chesterfield and Stockport County also revered after failing to make a success of supporter ownership.

Hull sale closer

The sale of Hull City moved closer after a 'heads of agreement' document was filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange.  A Far East consortium is prepared to pay £130m for the club.

The buying consortium, GreaterChina, says that it sees 'unparalleled opportunities' to promote the club to a Chinese audience.  

They would face competition for that audience from the growing number of English owners of Chinese clubs.   It is a big market, the biggest available, but it has its limits.

Forest sale would have some unusual conditions

The owners of football clubs sometimes have some unrealistic expectations about the price their club might fetch when they try to sell.   However, the conditions apparently being attached to the sale of Nottingham Forest are among the most extraordinary I can recall.

Birmingham City takeover completed

The takeover of Birmingham City by Trillion Trophy Asia has at last been completed after a 16 month process.  It ends the seven year period of ownership of Carson Yeung who was jailed for money laundering in 2014.  The deal values the club at £12.3m.

New effort to sell Notts County

Notts County chairman and majority shareholder Ray Trew has made a new effort to sell the club.   He has approached local businessman Alan Hardy who has made two bids for the club in the past.  He thinks that the world's old professional team has the potential to reach the Championship

Trew has had talks with potential buyers from China and the United States and also with a UK hedge fund, but these do not seem to have gone anywhere.

Trew originally put a price tag of £8m to £10m on the club.