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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Oliver to block Airdrie bid
Airdrie United chairman Jim Ballantyne (left) with Bryan Jackson of PKF
Ballantyne (left) needs the support of Riverbank's board
Former Clydebank general manager Mick Oliver aims to block Tuesday's takeover of the club by Airdrie United.

Airdrie, led by chairman Jim Ballantyne, were given the go-ahead to take control of the Bankies by administrators Pannell Kerr Foster.

But Oliver, who led a late bid for the club by a fans' consortium, insists the directors of Clydebank's holding company, Riverbank, are refusing to sign the stock transfer documents that will allow Jim Ballantyne to take control.

Without these documents Ballantyne's company cannot carry out business and Airdrie United will not come into being.

However, administrator Bryan Jackson has said that the bid by Airdrie United has been legally concluded, regardless of any last-ditch attempt by Oliver to block it.

Oliver told the Scottish Daily Express: "We are astonished PKF opted to go with the Airdrie United bid because we put forward the 170,000 we were led to believe would be enough to keep Clydebank alive.

"I have the money available to go higher than that figure but was never led to believe that would be necessary.

The difference between the two bids is estimated to be only 10,000.

And with Riverbank's directors unwilling to deal with a hostile bidder, owner John Hall, who set up the company to ease the sale of the Bankies, will be under pressure to overlook the difference and take the Clydebank-friendly option.

Oliver continued: "I have the full support of Riverbank for my bid and will go into the Scottish Football League in the morning to state my case officially."

One of Riverbank's directors Steve Latimer has backed Oliver in his bid.

Latimer said: "The four Riverbank directors are against the sale.

"We have had a board meeting and have decided it is not in the best interests of the club."

Meanwhile, Ballantyne held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the offices of PKF after the administrators officially accepted his bid.

He revealed that he had given new team boss Sandy Stewart permission to build a squad.

Airdrie United chairman Jim Ballantyne
Ballantyne is keen to return to New Broomfield
Ballantyne also said that he would be moving quickly to change the club name to Airdrie United.

The Scottish Football League require notification of this on Wednesday ahead of the publication of the second division fixture list for season 2002/3 on Thursday.

Ballantyne said: "I am very sorry for Clydebank fans, but my aim was to bring senior football back to Airdrie.

"We've concluded the deal and we are now Clydebank, but we are allowed to change the name."

The new Airdrie United will also be looking to get out of the groundsharing arrangement Clydebank have in place with Morton to play at Cappielow this term.

Ballantyne is keen to take the club back to New Broomfield.

As far as administrator Bryan Jackson is concerned the matter is closed.

He said: "I had to go with the highest offer to get the best return for the creditors.

"Clydebank will probably cease to exist when the name has been changed.

"There may be some last-ditch attempt, but, as far as I am concerned, I have legally concluded the offer."


A tale of woe

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