Buy Out Near Completion

Wednesday, 20 June 2001, 0:00
1 min read

Staff at the club say there have been a number of ‘new faces’ looking over the ground in the past few weeks and it is understood Swansea City FC could change hands for around £1m.

In February, when the club issued its half yearly report, the Swans made a pre-tax loss of £797,000 signalling Ninth Floor’s decision to put the then struggling outfit on the open market. The separation became complete when McClure confessed that he was a Norwich City supporter.

Speculation mounted over the identity of the new owners with wealthy celebrities such as Chris Evans and Catherine Zeta Jones being linked to the club but there were no firm bids. But now a source at the club said that talks are getting under way this week with a group of businessmen based in various parts of the United Kingdom with a number having strong Welsh links.

The source said, ‘Mr McClure is now very confident the club will be sold before next season and he is speaking to a consortium very interested in becoming the new owners. ‘Obviously the finer points of any sale has to be worked out and that will take time but this a serious bid with strong backing.’ Swansea managing director Mike Lewis posted a message on the club’s website earlier this week urging fans to be patient as there would be takeover developments in the next three weeks.

Whoever the new owners of the club may be will no doubt have been looking nervously at the statements from Swansea City and County Council members over the past few weeks regarding the future of the £75m Morfa Stadium project. While the authority has granted planning permission in principle for a new joint stadium to house Swansea City and Swansea RFC along with a new hotel, cinema, restaurants, bars and shopping complex a number of councillors have voiced scepticism about the move to Morfa.

However, Byron Owen, the council’s cabinet member for development says commercial interest in the scheme has been strong. Despite that, Mr Owen has made it clear that no firm start date can be given for the new Morfa Stadium because the whole project depends on securing anchor tenants for major shopping and leisure elements.

The authority’s developers have been working hard over the past few months in persuading tenants to come on board. Ninth Floor said earlier this year that the stadium would be ready for use by Swansea City and Swansea RFC by the summer of 2002.

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