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Chicago investors looking at Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday

Chicago-based investment company Club 9 Sports are in talks to take control of Sheffield Wednesday.

The joint venture between a sports management company and a merchant bank have been in discussions with the Owls since August.

The proposed move would see chairman Lee Strafford and chief executive Nick Parker maintaining their roles.

The group's managing partner John Prutch warned: "There is no guarantee that any deal will be completed."

He continued: "We have been impressed not just by the rich history of Sheffield Wednesday, but the opportunity that exists to work with the current management and once again make the club a major force within English football."

Now we do know who we're talking about, we feel it's a major step forward

Shareholders Association chairman Dave Coupe

The group are thought to be planning a new share issue which could potentially write off half of the club's £22m debt.

Shareholders Association chairman Dave Coupe said: "We're delighted to hear that things are moving forward, it's very positive news that people have actually been identified.

"We've been working along this process now for a considerable time and no specific names have been mentioned.

"Now we do know who we're talking about, we feel it's a major step forward."

The potential new owners would focus on sensible investment and a takeover will not lead to massive investment in the playing staff.

Funds for new players would be largely financed by increased attendances, with crowds at Hillsborough currently averaging just over 23,000.

Progress had been stalled by the Owls' recent poor form, leading to the departure of manager Brian Laws and appointment of Alan Irvine.

606: DEBATE
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It is believed the group see the club as a long-term venture with any return on their investment only coming through promotion to the Premier League.

A takeover deal would need to be approved by an extraordinary general meeting of Sheffield Wednesday's shareholders.

Former chairman Dave Allen, who retains a 10% holding in the club, would not be able to influence a vote.

Since taking control of Chesterfield, Allen is bound by Football League rules governing involvement with more than one club.



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see also
Wednesday seek investment in US
06 May 09 |  Sheff Wed


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