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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 07:51 GMT
Swans finally sold by Petty
Swansea fans make their feelings known
Tony Petty has taken hefty criticism at the Vetch
Controversial Swansea City chairman Tony Petty has finally offloaded the Swans to a new owner after a previous sale dramatically collapsed.

A local consortium headed by businessman and former Welsh international and Swans star Mel Nurse bought the club for an undisclosed sum late Thursday night.

Signatures were made in Cardiff, where the pair met with solicitors, and confirmed in a statement at 2255 GMT - Mr Nurse unveiled the deal in a press conference on Friday morning.

Tony Petty
Tony Petty's reign at the Vetch is now over
It will come as welcome relief for worried fans eager to see the back of Mr Petty.

The Australian-based businessman attempted axed seven players and two coaches to cut costs at the club, before the PFA thwarted the move.

A consortium led by property developer Mel Griffin and Jim Moore was poised to buy the club on Tuesday, but Mr Petty dramatically revealed negotiations had broken down.

Swansea's players were given the news as the team travelled to the West country by coach, later losing 4-1 to Bristol Rovers.

The outgoing chairman assumed that the pair had got cold feet after Swansea County Council announced that redevelopment of the club's ground, the Vetch, was not an option.

Uncertain future

It left the future uncertain once again for a club whose fortunes had been likened to those of exiles Newport County, who have experienced a dramatic fall from grace in the Welsh game.

Then on Thursday night, it emerged that Mr Nurse's team bought the majority of Swans shares from Mr Petty - shares he acquired for just 1 in 2001.


It's going to be an uphill task and we will need financial assistance

Mel Nurse, new Swans owner
Details of the deal have not yet been revealed, but Mr Nurse said the figure was "substantial."

"Survival is first and utmost and we'll go from there," he said.

A new board of directors will decide on a replacement chairman.

Mr Nurse said he would do whatever he could for the club, but he was not the chairman.

"We have some money ready for advancement and we'll take that out of it - but it's going to be an uphill task and we will need financial assistance," he added.

Matthew Bound
Matthew Bound is leaving the Vetch for Oxford
"There were quite a few documents which were missing from the Vetch and so on, but hopefully we have overcome that now.

"We've got one hell of a ladder to climb - I am hoping the public will support us."

Mr Nurse resigned as director of the club in November - just weeks after Petty's arrival - and moved swiftly to buy up the club's 801,000 debts to former owners Ninth Floor plc in a bid to gain the upper hand.

He subsequently petitioned at the High Court for an administrator to oversee the club's future.

Mr Petty took ownership of the club after a similarly turbulent history Down Under at the Brisbane Lions and Soccer Australia, the national footballing body.

His reign even led to the arrival of a pair of Australian triallists at the Vetch, as the club struggled to pay long-serving players' wages.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Mel Nurse, Swansea owner
"We have an uphill struggle"
Marilyn Croft, Supporters' Trust
"We have the people we have wanted for years"
Nick Cusack Swans captain
"We are looking for a bright future"
BBC Wales' John Hardy
"Players' wages must be most important"
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