McLiar Speaks

Sunday, 15 April 2001, 0:00
2 mins read

McClure last night claimed the takeover of Swansea City Football Club had moved significantly closer. He confirmed a recent visit to Dubai but refused to substantiate reports that a Middle East consortium, headed by the sister of a Midlands-based Swansea supporter, was poised to buy the ailing Swans. ‘I am presently in Paris but that doesn’t mean I am negotiating to sell the club to a French connection,’ he told Karl Woodward of The Western Mail. ‘But I will say that we are talking to more than one interested party. I can’t tell you if the deal will go through before the end of the season. ‘There are a lot of things going on, a whole range of options. ‘We are trying to make sure we find a buyer suitable to the Ninth Floor shareholders and for the club’s future well-being. ‘We have made a decision to get rid of the club and I am very hopeful we’ll do so. ‘I would be disappointed if we still owned Swansea City in six months’ time. ‘The sale could happen quicker than that but people will only spend money if they regard it as a worthwhile investment. ‘The days are gone when people with a few hundred grand played with their own money in a football club. ‘They’ll only do it as a major business opportunity and I’m afraid that the possibility that Swansea City might be playing in the Third Division again next season is a factor of the sale. ‘We had a good result against Wycombe in midweek. But personally I am resigned to the club going down. ‘If we wanted to avoid relegation we should have floated the club last autumn when we had the opportunity to put in place the capital that would have guaranteed the club’s future. ‘The moment that plan was scuppered we effectively had our backs to the wall. From the time we didn’t get the flotation away we were looking at a more difficult life.’ McClure, admitted he had lost touch with developments regarding a proposed move to a new stadium at Morfa. ‘Ninth Floor put a lot of money, time and effort into the move and it will be a great shame if it falls through now. ‘But I haven’t attended a meeting regarding the project for two or three months. I am no longer in day-to-day contact about the scheme. It’s for Swansea council to announce what progress is being made.’ McClure dismissed reports that he or Ninth Floor would become financially involved with Queens Park Rangers once the Swansea deal had been finalised. ‘I’ve had my fill of troubled football clubs and can’t think why I would want bigger problems with QPR than I have already got. ‘Our business is security and IT. That’s where we are going to focus from now on. I’m not going to waste any more time on football.’ “It is untrue to say that Swansea manager John Hollins had been hamstrung by a lack of money to strengthen the squad”, added McClure. ‘I have been 100 per cent supportive of whatever the manager wanted to do and I am very disappointed it hasn’t come off. ‘Hopefully the club has learned some lessons. Spending money in the transfer market isn’t what it’s all about. ‘We have always had a big squad for our division. If the money should have been spent another way the club will understand that second time around. ‘The most important thing is what size wage bill you can afford. These are not lessons I will have to worry about. ‘But my guess is that with the right people behind it the club will bounce back quickly.’

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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