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Blackburn Rovers in ongoing talks with Ahsan Ali Syed

Blackburn fans at Ewood Park last Saturday
Blackburn fans may see their team get a cash boost

Blackburn Rovers say they have held a "cordial and productive meeting" with Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed's company over a proposed takeover.

Bahrain-based Syed, owner of Western Gulf Advisory, confirmed on Monday he was keen to buy the Lancashire club.

He said he could give manager Sam Allardyce a transfer kitty of £100m.

Blackburn said talks were "ongoing" after Syed had voiced plans to complete his takeover of the Premier League club within two weeks.

But the club, who began the new season with a win over Everton on Saturday, declined to comment further.

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Syed, 36, is reported to have about £300m to spend on the takeover, a sum that would both cover the club's debts and allow new players to be bought.

Syed, who has never been to Blackburn but says he will buy a house in Lancashire if his takeover succeeds, claims he does not want to buy the club for its business potential but to fuel his "passion" for football.

He also insisted that unlike some would-be club owners, he had the resources to back up his claims and plans for the club.

"I am definitely different because I am not taking it as a PR vehicle or an investment vehicle but I am taking it as an emotional vehicle for myself," he told BBC Five Live.

"My family has been into business for 180-odd years, mine is the ninth generation into finance. Until now we have not run out."

Blackburn are currently run by the trustees of former owner Jack Walker's estate. Steel magnate Walker thrust Blackburn into the big time in the 1990s by funding a lavish spending spree.

They notably won the Premier League title in 1995 with the goals of two big-money signings Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, but have struggled to compete at the top end of the table since Walker's death 10 years ago.

The trustees, along with investment bank Rothschild, have been searching for a new owner for the last three years.

Syed claims to have signed a memorandum of understanding with Blackburn allowing him an exclusive four-week period for negotiations and due diligence.

Yet he is hoping to complete a deal before the transfer window shuts at the end of August to allow Allardyce to sign new players.

"Between £80 and £100m is what I'd be allocating for players, but I'm not saying that there is not talent in the team. The talent is already very good," said Syed.

"Right now Big Sam has done a fantastic job with very limited resources. If I can give him some good resources I'm pretty confident he could work wonders."

Syed has also said he will not set Allardyce lofty and unrealistic targets and will not interfere directly with team matters. He is also keen to revamp the 31,000-capacity Ewood Park stadium.



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see also
Blackburn bidder wants quick deal
16 Aug 10 |  Blackburn
Blackburn 1-0 Everton
14 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Allardyce plays down cash boost
05 Aug 10 |  Blackburn
Investor confirms Blackburn talks
19 Jun 07 |  Blackburn
Football takeover trends
06 Feb 07 |  Premier League
Williams takes over at Blackburn
28 Jun 05 |  Blackburn


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