Leeds-born multi-millionaire Steve Parkin says he was on the verge of taking control at Leeds United before Ken Bates became chairman.
The lifelong Leeds fan, 45, says he had also lined up then Crystal Palace boss Iain Dowie to take over as manager.
Parkin told the Yorkshire Evening Post the deal collapsed as his consortium were not allowed to look at the club's finances before an offer was in place.
But Parkin said: "I'd love to one day put something into Leeds United."
Parkin - chief executive of Brighouse-based logistics company Clipper Group - said that could be either as owner, director or "just a beneficiary".
We were willing to take it on and be the guarantor for the debt, but we needed to look at the books
"You can never say never," he added. "I would like to think I could put something in to enable it to thrive again."
Parkin says the deal fell through after his consortium discovered the cost of taking control from Gerald Krasner could have been £50m.
"I put together a consortium and we had a fair amount of wealth within that to do a deal," he said.
"We were willing to take it on and be the guarantor for the debt, but we needed to look at the books.
"They weren't releasing the information to us. What they were saying was show us your funds and we'll show you the books.
"But I was saying if you don't show me the books, how do I know how much money I need.Until you see the books, how do you know?"