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Sheffield Wednesday: No deal with Qatari group

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Talks between Wednesday and a Qatari group have ended without agreement on an investment deal.

Chairman Milan Mandaric has confirmed that a meeting took place recently.

Football agent Jonathan Hope says that he brought the parties together.

A 35-year-old Scotsman, Hope has contacts in Asia and the Middle East and was involved in attempts to bring new money into Scottish clubs Queen of the South and Rangers.

He said: “I was approached by a football agent about the potential sale of Sheffield Wednesday. Within five days I had an interested party at the table with Milan Mandaric and Paul Aldridge (vice-chairman).

“I stayed out of negotiations. Those negotiations went backwards and forwards for three months.

“I know what Milan is looking for; I don’t know how close the negotiations got to that.

“I’m moving on to other Championship clubs as well. It’s sad that a Wednesday takeover hasn’t happened in the manner I thought it would, but I’ll still be on the look-out for potential buyers who could be proposed to the club.”

He said the Qatari deal could have been for a 50 per cent stake, but with the investors taking charge, while Mandaric stayed on for as time to aid a transition.

“The investors were happy with the present structure of the club and looking to build on it,” added Hope, who recently claimed that a deal was close - something strongly denied by Mandaric at the time.

Hope added: “Milan has been brilliant with me and in giving his time to everybody. But the deal is definitely off.”

Mandaric said: “I have recently had a meeting with a Qatari group and one of the items discussed was a potential investment in the club. For various reasons this issue will not be progressed further and it is extremely unhelpful that Mr Hope has made these comments.

“I have never met Mr Hope and only spoke to him after reading his comments in the media. His name was never mentioned during my meeting with the Qatari group and I do not know what if any involvement he had in the introduction.

“I do not like to conduct my business in this manner and it is extremely unhelpful to our supporters when such inaccurate statements are made by individuals who, I can only presume, have other motives to mine, which is solely the best future possible for Sheffield Wednesday,

“I have informed Mr Hope we do not wish him to purport to represent myself or the club in the future, I will make no further comment in respect of this situation.”

 

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