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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007, 12:08 GMT
Mandaric seals Leicester takeover
Milan Mandaric
Mandaric hopes to take Leicester back into the Premiership
Former Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric has completed his takeover of Leicester after the Foxes' shareholders accepted his offer for the Championship outfit.

Mandaric would not reveal how much he has paid for Leicester but says he is aiming to take the club back into the Premiership within three years.

The 68-year-old said: "It will be hard work but this is a great opportunity."

Mandaric also vowed to stand by manager Rob Kelly, although he admitted talking to Iain Dowie about the job.

"Our future plans are straightforward," added Mandaric. "First we have to secure our stability and be sure of staying in this division.

I am behind him giving him full support - the only way we are going to make it is if we are all pulling in the same direction

New Leicester owner Milan Mandaric on manager Rob Kelly

"Once we have achieved that we will immediately start planning for next season and Rob Kelly is in those plans.

"I have been in dialogue with Iain Dowie and other managers. A lot of managers would like to be at Leicester but we have made a decision to stay with Rob and give him our full support.

"He is an intelligent and honest manager who knows what needs to be done.

"I had a meeting with Rob, which was very productive. I am behind him, giving him full support - the only way we are going to make it is if we are all pulling in the same direction.

"But we are under no illusions - it is a massive task."

I will do everything possible not to let the fans down - I am here to stay

Milan Mandaric

Leicester were last in the Premiership in 2004 but Mandaric wants them back in the top flight by 2010.

"There are 24 teams in the Championship and they all have the same dream - but only three can make it up," he explained. "My aim is to be in those three.

"I am not a very good loser or very patient. In three years if we are not there this mission will be a failure and that word does not go well with my personality."

Mandaric has been trying to buy the club since November and admitted the delays in the deal have been frustrating - but he is keen to make up for lost time.

606: DEBATE
PJ

"It took longer than it should but that is what happens when you are dealing with a public company," stated Mandaric.

"And I never look back - I only look at today.

"I am excited and tomorrow looks better. I will do everything possible not to let the fans down - I am here to stay.

"To get the club where we want to go will take some serious money but whatever it takes will be there."

SEE ALSO
Mandaric anger over buy-out delay
22 Jan 07 |  Leicester City
Kelly wants swift end to takeover
27 Nov 06 |  Leicester City
Foxes 'welcome' Mandaric approach
18 Nov 06 |  Leicester City
Mandaric confirms Leicester bid
01 Nov 06 |  Leicester City
Mandaric plays down Foxes link
06 Oct 06 |  Leicester City
Mandaric steps down from Pompey
21 Sep 06 |  Portsmouth


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