Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday December 7 2006
Speaking to shareholders at this morning's AGM, Manchester City FC chairman, John Wardle, announced that the club are in the early stages of talks with a potential investor.
'I can confirm that during the past year, we have indentified a series of leads in relation to possible investment in the club,' said Wardle. 'I can further confirm that we are currently in talks with an investor that may lead to potential investment. Talks are at a very early stage and accordingly we are not yet in a position to disclose the identity of the possible investor.'
'The board are aware that we need further investment to maintain our challenge in an increasingly competitive and high-finance Premier League,' said Wardle. 'With the new TV deal commencing next season, we are all conscious of the importance of the current campaign. Whether or not the current talks succeed, the policy of the board is to welcome approaches from investors who can demonstrate the capacity and commitment to provide long-term benefit for the club.'
Wardle's disclosure of such talks can be interpreted in one of two ways. Either the board are very confident that the talks will lead to firm investment in the club or it was simply a statement to draw criticism away from the perceived lack of ambition at the club.
I personally hope that it is the former. City cannot expect to make progress without further large scale investment. Both Wardle and his partner David Makin have invested heavily in the club and cannot be expected to dip their hands into their pockets again.
Alastair Mackintosh, meanwhile, has come under huge criticism for his failure to bring in investment whilst drawing a salary of a quarter of a million sterling as the club stands still. Let's hope he has finally delivered and the club can eventually move forward.
Date:Thursday December 7 2006
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