Indian takeaway for Ashley?
Not one but two takeover bids have made the back pages of the papers this morning as the NOTW speculates that the Ashley era was just a quick turnover exercise by the Sports Direct magnate. Into the fray however comes two very interesting options.
My personal favourite is the Indian option. Willing to pay £260m and probably a whole lot more in an attempt to conquer the last untapped world football market, I quote the NOTW`s piece on the man, Anil Ambani:
India`s second richest man — who has a personal fortune of £21BILLION — has been in negotiations with Ashley for several weeks, and has made it perfectly clear he will rival Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in the spending stakes. A figure of around £150m has been discussed in Ambani`s inner circle with the telecoms magnate only too happy to sanction such a sum for players. And he can afford it.
He is TWICE as rich as Blues` billionaire owner Abramovich, who has a personal fortune of just £11b.
Ambani`s Reliance Communications (RCom) is the largest supplier of mobile phones on the sub-continent and one of India`s most successful companies in a market that rivals China as the biggest boom economy in the world.
Ambani — the 2006 Businessman of the Year — moves in the same powerful circles in India as Red Rom does in Russia. He is a friend and confidante of politicians as well as one of the most successful businessmen of the last decade. He is married to former Bollywood actress Tina Munim and one of his two sons is at a private school in Kent.
Sounds fairly promising. In the other corner are the Singaporeans:
From the Far East, comes the Profitable Group, a strategic global investment company that has made a name for itself as one of the shrewdest dealers in a fluctuating market — and who now has eyes on a Premier League prize.
In their armoury is Steve McMahon. The ex-Liverpool star made a name for himself as a TV pundit in Singapore working for ESPN.
The Scouser has been appointed Profitable`s Commercial Director in charge of strategic sports investment.
McMahon gives Profitable, who targeted Everton earlier this year, an important weapon in any takeover talks — a man who knows football clubs inside out and who can provide Profitable with vital insight.
Overall there`s little doubt that a man with twice the financial clout of the Chelski bloke and nearly 30 times Ashley`s would be welcomed with open arms.