Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Friday June 11 2010
It looks like, finally, Rovers could be subject to a takeover.
The papers and internet are full of stories this morning of how an Indian entrepreneur with links to the IPL cricket league is ready to takeover after a sneaky peak at the books at Ewood Park.
That is still to come but reports are that a bid has been made and the good news for Rovers fans is that the bids origins seem to lie in legitimate hands.
There are also seems to be a purpose behind the bid as well...
The Times, one of the more reliable papers of this world have a full article on the takeover and cover the ground here -
'An Indian entrepreneur is close to completing a £25 million takeover of Blackburn Rovers after targeting the Lancashire club on account of the town`s large Asian population.
Blackburn`s board has given Saurin Shah, little known outside his home city of Mumbai, permission to begin the due diligence process after several weeks of secret talks. He hopes to complete the takeover by mid-July and to establish strong links not only with the town`s Indian population but also, more globally, with cricket`s Indian Premier League (IPL), of which his uncle, Niranjan, is deputy chairman.
Shah approached brokers in London about buying a Barclays Premier League club in April and quickly settled upon Blackburn after learning that the town has a large Asian population as well as historical links to the textile industry. According to the 2001 Census, 14.3 per cent of Blackburn`s population is of Indian origin, with a further 11.5 per cent of Pakistani origin.
Shah`s vision, through his Qubic Sports investment vehicle, is to create strong links between Blackburn and the IPL, which would allow cross- marketing. India is regarded by many Premier League clubs as an area of huge potential growth and Shah believes that his links with the IPL would leave Blackburn well placed to secure a strong position in that market.
Negotiations are taking place through Rothschild, the investment bank, and Chris Nathaniel, the chief executive of NVA Entertainment. Shah, with Nathaniel, attended Blackburn`s 2-1 victory over Arsenal at Ewood Park last month as a guest and has persuaded the board of his willingness to invest in the playing squad and in the club`s infrastructure.
Blackburn have unofficially been open to offers for the past three years, since the trustees of the late Jack Walker, who bankrolled the club to the Premier League title in 1995, made it clear that they were eager to offload their stake. The money from the Trustees of the Jack Walker 1987 Settlement has all but dried up, which has caused John Williams, the chairman, to search for new investment.
Williams said recently that, for the first time in several years, Blackburn expect to "revert to being a trading club rather than a selling club this summer", with Sam Allardyce, the manager, being given money to invest in his squad — in part thanks to last season`s success in securing a top-half finish in the Premier League. Under Shah`s ownership, the intention would be for Blackburn to attract far greater commercial revenue in India and beyond, which would give the club the means to ensure that they remain an established and sustainable Premier League side.'
Could be the start of a new era???
Date:Friday June 11 2010
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