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Milan Mandaric considers Sheffield Wednesday takeover

Milan Mandaric
Mandaric ruled himself out of a return to Portsmouth last month

Leicester City chairman Milan Mandaric is considering a takeover bid for League One side Sheffield Wednesday, BBC Radio Leicester understands.

Mandaric's interest comes as the struggling Owls face a winding-up order in five days over unpaid debt.

Wednesday are in talks with three interested parties but need an investor quickly to avoid administration.

The club's main creditor, the Co-operative Bank, now look likely to decide who to sell to on Tuesday.

However, Mandaric played down the rumours of a takeover in a statement to the club's official website.

"I am not currently in discussions regarding the purchase of Sheffield Wednesday or any other club for that matter. There is no secret of my love for English football and my desire to stay in the game," he said.

The new owners don't come from a football environment, they come from business, so I think Milan is still very important for us

Leicester City boss Sven Goran Erikkson

"Until the right challenge is presented, I remain committed to Leicester City, our owners and our great supporters."

Under league rules Mandaric would have to resign his current post at the Walkers Stadium to take charge at Hillsborough.

Leicester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson admitted the former Portsmouth owner remained a key figure at the club, despite selling his stake to a Thai-led consortium in August.

He told BBC Radio Leicester: "I'm sure if something like this happens, if he is going to leave, he will inform me and the players and the staff before anything else happens so I'm relaxed about that.

"The chairman is important for the club. The new owners don't come from a football environment, they come from business, so I think he (Mandaric) is still very important for us."

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Wednesday face the winding-up order over an unpaid PAYE tax bill of £600,000 on 17 November and are due back in court at the start of December over VAT arrears of £300,000.

If the South Yorkshire outfit cannot secure funds they face administration and an automatic 10-point penalty.

The Hillsborough club had previously faced a winding-up order in July over an unpaid HMRC PAYE balance of £550,000, which rose to £1.1m by the time it was eventually settled in September after an agreement with the club's bank.

Although the move alleviated the immediate possibility of administration and a 10-point deduction, the League One side still require new investors for the 143-year-old club.

Club 9 Sports, and more recently Certified Oil Rentals, both withdrew their interest in the club, but Wednesday officials are confident that a new investor can be found.

One day, when my owners at Leicester say 'chairman, we don't need you any more, you can go', then I'll still be in football somewhere

Milan Mandaric speaking in October

Former Portsmouth owner Mandaric remains chairman at Leicester after selling his stake in the club in August, and back in October he stated that he wanted to remain in the game once he leaves the Walkers Stadium.

"One day when my owners at Leicester say 'chairman, we don't need you any more, you can go', then I'll still be in football somewhere," he said.

The Serbian-American businessman spent eight years at Fratton Park before taking over at Leicester in 2007.

During his time at Pompey the side were promoted to the Premier League, but struggled following his departure and were relegated last season.

In his first full season at Leicester he saw the side relegated to League One, before the club gained promotion back to the Championship in 2009, where they currently lie 17th.



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