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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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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.

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.