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Cambridge United owners put club up for sale

Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium
Cambridge United are in their sixth season out of the Football League

Cambridge United have been put up for sale by the club's board.

Directors hope to attract investment to secure the long term future of the Blue Square Bet Premier side.

The board have invited an offer from supporters' trust Cambridge Fans United, who failed in a bid to buy the Abbey Stadium from developers in March.

"The board have tried to anticipate a situation. It's not as doom and gloom as it sounds," director of football Jez George told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

"Rather than wait for that crisis to happen the board wants a little bit of forethought and set a situation where someone can come in and look at the short term as well as the long term."

Any potential new owner would have to purchase the stakes of chairman Paul Barry and director Adrian Hanauer.

And CFU chairman Dave Matthew-Jones confirmed they would be interested in opening up dialogue with U's officials regarding a potential takeover.

"I think this is probably going to be the preferred option for us," he said.

"However if somebody came in with lots of money then that could very much become the option.

"But what is important is the long term future of the football and club and that's it being run prudently and safely."

In a statement the club's board added: "The board is looking for fresh investment to continue the development of young players, provide funds for the first team to push forward and also to work with our landlords as the plans to develop a new stadium come closer.

The board extends the offer of dialogue with CFU to look at the financial viability of creating such a community trust

Cambridge United statement

"That investment could also include a complete takeover of the club and one option within that could be the formation of a community trust.

"We are seeking interested parties who must be people of integrity, financial strength, have a love of football, and hopefully have ties to Cambridge.

"The board also extends the offer of dialogue with CFU and any other fan groups to look at the financial viability of creating such a community trust to effectively take over the ownership and running of the club."

Majority shareholder Barry was elected chairman in August 2009 after the departure of George Rolls.

In April 2005 Cambridge narrowly escaped going out of business after being relegated from League Two and going into administration in the same week.

Despite playing in two Wembley play-off finals since then the club has been unable to match its finances with its ambition of returning to the Football League.

The U's sold the Abbey Stadium to developers Bideawhile in 2004 for £1.9m which in turn was sold to Grosvenor Estates for £3.5m 10 months ago.

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see also
Cambridge fans fail in Abbey bid
25 Mar 10 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge ground set to be sold
26 Feb 10 |  Cambridge Utd
Barry quiet on Cambridge future
12 Aug 09 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge chairman Rolls resigns
06 Aug 09 |  Cambridge Utd
Cambridge file for administration
29 Apr 05 |  Cambridge Utd

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