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Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 16:20 UK

Sheffield Wednesday in discussions with new consortium

Sheffield Wednesday

A new consortium is close to table a bid to take over Sheffield Wednesday, BBC Radio Sheffield understands.

Discussions have been under way for the last four weeks led by two local businessmen, who are both avid supporters of the League One club.

Both men are keen to remain anonymous until a deal can be brokered.

The prospective new owners have also made it understood that supporters' groups will have some representation on the board if they are successful.

Chicago-based investment group Club 9 Sports have previously tabled bids to invest in the Hillsborough club, but a deal has not been reached.

It is also understood that progressive negotiations have been held between foreign investors - not from North America - and leading officials at the club.

A spokesman for the group said: "It is a promising development but the reason the consortium doesn't want to say any more at this stage is to avoid publicity and pressure on all parties until a package can be put to both the club and the Co-op bank.

"Hopefully a statement will be made within the next month, but at the moment things are looking very encouraging."

The Owls were recently served a winding up order by HM Revenue and Customs relating to an outstanding PAYE balance which amounts to £550,000.

A court date has been set for 11 August although the club remain confident that the outstanding debt will be paid.

Howard Wilkinson
Wilkinson led Sheffield Wednesday to promotion in 1984

Meanwhile Howard Wilkinson will remain as Sheffield Wednesday chairman for the foreseeable future.

The 66-year-old originally agreed to replace Lee Strafford, who stepped down in May, on a short-term basis.

Wilkinson told BBC Radio Sheffield he is now happy to extend his stay in the Hillsborough boardroom.

"I just felt, having listened to the other directors, that we need a period of stability," he said.

"Clearly we're not absolutely certain where this club will be in the next four weeks, three months, or 12 months so hopefully we'll get something resolved very quickly.

"In the interim I agree with everyone else that we should keep going as we have been and in that case I am chairman of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club which is a honour but not an honour I particularly sought."

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see also
Wednesday handed winding up order
23 Jul 10 |  Sheff Wed
Owls end Club 9 Sports interest
19 May 10 |  Sheff Wed
Strafford resigns as Owls chief
17 May 10 |  Sheff Wed
Wilkinson returns to Hillsborough
09 Jan 09 |  Sheff Wed

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