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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 11:02 GMT
Villa buy-out plan at vital stage
Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis
The Irish consortium aiming to take control of Aston Villa believe the next 48 hours will be crucial to their hopes of succeeding.

Villa's majority shareholder Doug Ellis is believed to have had concerns over some financial criteria of the 64m bid not being met.

But according to the Press Association, a source close to the group has insisted: "The deal is still alive.

"Reports the bid is off are not true but the next 48 hours are crucial."

Villa have still to receive a concrete offer from the consortium of property developers the Comer Brothers and lifelong Villa fan Michael Neville amid speculation they need to find another 10m.

Ellis, who has indicated a willingness to sell after two decades in charge of Villa, is understood to standing firm by his asking price.

Villa spokesman said "We have not been informed of any change to the position. Our statement to the Stock Exchange still stands."

In that statement before Christmas, Villa confirmed an initial approach had been received and the club were in discussions as regards a possible takeover.

Ellis, 82, had told shareholders at October's annual general meeting he hoped to have some concrete proposals to put before them within a month.

But any delay in the takeover bid might end any signings David O'Leary may have planned for January.

With James Milner and Eirik Bakke on loan from Newcastle and Leeds respectively, O'Leary has used up his quota of domestic loan signings and must look abroad if he wants to make any more short-term signings.

Ellis receives takeover assurance
27 Nov 05 |  Aston Villa
Ellis 'working on' takeover bid
14 Oct 05 |  Aston Villa


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