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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Hull City agree takeover with 150m local businessman

Hull City

Hull City owner Russell Bartlett has agreed to sell a controlling interest in the club to local businessmen Assem and Ehab Allam.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Assem Allam, who moved to East Yorkshire from Egypt, is worth £150m.

Under the terms of the deal, agreed on Tuesday, the Allams will have a majority shareholding in both the club and the KC Stadium management company.

"We see our role as bringing financial stability to the club," said Allam.

"Our strengths are in business expertise and financial management. We will leave the football decisions to those who know best."

The 70-year-old left Egypt in 1968 and studied economics at the University of Hull. His business, generator manufacturer Allam Marine based at Melton in East Yorkshire, had a turnover of £116m last year.

The Allams confirmed they intended to deal with the club's debts, understood to be around £35m following relegation from the Premier League last season.

The size of the debt had led to concern among supporters that the club would eventually be forced into administration, incurring an automatic 10-point penalty.

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But the Allams said: "The arrangements mean we will take over the club's debts, and we have set aside funds for working capital and to secure new players in the January transfer window."

Bartlett will remain a shareholder and non-executive director while Adam Pearson will continue in his current role as head of football operations.

Speaking to BBC Radio Humberside, Allam explained the reasons behind his takeover.

"Forty-two years ago I came here, and I was a burden - so why not pay that back? I came here, hurt by a military regime, and had peace of mind here.

"I was welcomed, my family was welcomed, my children went to school and had university education in Hull. Even when I worked in London, I commuted.

"The people are fantastic. Although I've been trying to do things for the area, represented by involvement in medical research, and sport sponsorship, I thought the most important thing for the people is Hull City Football Club.

"You have fantastic fans here - people who support the club when they win, and when they lose."



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