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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 07:01 GMT
Group hopeful on Newcastle buyout
By Andrew McKenzie

Newcastle United
The Belgravia Group remains keen on a deal for Newcastle and would like to be in control for the transfer window.

The Jersey-based group was expected to launch a 235m takeover earlier this month that failed to materialise.

But a spokesman told BBC Sport: "We are still in talks which may or may not lead to a deal but from our perspective we are still very keen to do a deal.

"The transfer window is approaching and I think from both parties' perspective that is something to focus the minds."

Investment group Belgravia made its interest in the club public in the summer but so far the company has yet to make an offer for the Premiership club.

And Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd told BBC Sport: "They made a statement in August saying they may or may not make a bid.

"They can say what they like but they have yet to make an offer and until they make an offer we cannot say anything."

But the Belgravia spokesman confirmed that it is still interested in a takeover.

Newcastle are one of the premier football brands in Europe

Belgravia spokesman

He added: "Were we to make an offer or were we to cease our talks or they were to cease talks with us they would have to make an announcement to the stock exchange.

"None of which has been done so you can presume that talks are ongoing.

"We are in discussions with the board of Newcastle which means we are talking to all the shareholders."

The Magpies have been the subject of takeover rumours for months, with former chairman Sir John Hall admitting he has held discussions about selling his 28.5% share in the club.

Current chairman Shepherd appears more reluctant to sell and has been steadily increasing his share in the club to 28.01%.

606 DEBATE: Your reaction to the news

The Belgravia spokesman confirmed that it would be looking to buy out both Hall and Shepherd.

He added: "I think Polygon expressed an interest in buying one of Hall's or Shepherd's stake but we have said all along that we are interested in buying the whole thing.

"Because it is a quoted company that means making an offer for all the shares in the company.

"Hopefully we can come to terms on a deal that suits everybody - when that point comes Newcastle PLC will have to make a statement.

"It would be premature and disrespectful to the fans to talk about what we may of may not want to do as we don't own it.

"Were we to make an offer you have to disclose what financing plans are and what you are going to do and at that point we will outline in detail what our plans for the club would be.

"If you want to make money out of football clubs you need a successful team on the pitch.

"But Newcastle has a fantastic infrastructure, a fantastic fanbase, they are a big club, have a developed ground with good facilities and are one of the premier football brands in Europe."

"In an ideal world things would happen sooner rather than later but negotiations take time.

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