• Premier League

Blackburn confirm takeover talks

ESPN Soccernet staff
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Sam Allardyce would be given a £100m transfer fund by Syed © Getty Images
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Blackburn Rovers have confirmed they have held a "cordial and productive meeting" with Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed's company over a proposed takeover.

Bahrain-based Syed, owner of Western Gulf Advisory, confirmed on Monday he was keen to buy the Lancashire club and said he wanted to give manager Sam Allardyce a transfer kitty of up to £100 million.

Syed also said he would like to complete the takeover inside the next fortnight but Rovers have not made any other comment apart from confirming the talks are continuing.

A club statement read: "Blackburn Rovers can confirm that officials have held a cordial and productive meeting with Western Gulf Advisory (WGA) staff and advisers concerning a proposed takeover of the club. The process is ongoing."

Syed, 36, is reported to have around £300 million to spend on the takeover, covering the club's debts and new players. He claims he does not want to buy the club for its business potential but to fuel his "passion" for football.

Blackburn are currently run by the trustees of former owner Jack Walker's estate. Steel magnate Walker thrust Blackburn into the big time in the 1990s by funding a lavish spending spree. They notably won the Premier League title in 1995 but they have struggled to compete at the top end of the table since Walker's death 10 years ago.

The trustees, along with investment bank Rothschild, have been searching for a new owner for the last three years. Syed claims to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Blackburn allowing him an exclusive four-week period for negotiations and due diligence.

Yet he is hoping to complete a deal much sooner and told The Sport Briefing: "I have 14 days to complete (the takeover) before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month and I'm trying my level best because Big Sam needs funds for players.

"I will be working very hard to complete the deal so that I can allocate some funds and help Big Sam to buy some good players. Between £80-100 million is what I'd be allocating for players, but I'm not saying that there is not talent in the team. The talent is already very good.

"Right now Big Sam has done a fantastic job with very limited resources. If I can give him some good resources I'm pretty confident he could work wonders."

Syed has also said he will not set Allardyce lofty and unrealistic targets and will not interfere directly with team matters. He also wants to revamp the 31,000-capacity Ewood Park.

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