Sheffield Wednesday: Milan issues takeover warning

Owls chairman Milan Mandaric
Owls chairman Milan Mandaric
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Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric has hinted there may come a time when he has to pull the plug on Hafiz Mammadov’s proposed takeover of the club.

More than two months have passed since the Azerbaijani businessman agreed to purchase the Owls but the buyout has yet to be ratified by the Football League.

Mandaric met Mammadov face-to-face a fortnight ago to discuss the finer details of the takeover. In a statement on the club’s website this afternoon, Mandaric said he remains optimistic the deal will go ahead.

The statement read: “Unfortunately, despite much hard work from both parties, Mr Mammadov has not yet been able to perform his obligations under the terms of the agreement.

“We continue to have dialogue with both Mr Mammadov and his advisors and we are hopeful that the issues he is dealing with in Azerbaijan which are delaying his ability to complete the deal will be resolved and that he will fulfil his obligations within a reasonable timescale.

“During my recent meeting with Mr Mammadov in London, he gave me his personal assurance that he intends to complete the deal as quickly as possible and has apologised for the delay which is clearly causing concern to the supporters of our club.

“I still believe that Mr Mammadov will be a wonderful owner of this football club and his vision for the future compels me to resist any temptation at the moment to terminate the process and open new discussions with other potential interested parties who have contacted me during the process. I shook Mr Mammadov’s hand and my word is not something I renege on.

“Clearly there may come a time when I am unable to allow the process to continue, the stability of the club is of paramount importance to me and I do understand how the uncertainty of ownership can become a negative force if allowed to drag on.”

Despite the hold-up the takeover, Mandaric insists he will continue to support Owls head coach Stuart Gray in the transfer market.

“I would like to assure supporters that whilst this process is ongoing I will continue to give my full support to Stuart and his plans for the forthcoming season,” he said. “We have a fine squad and I hope with the addition of two or three more players before the window closes we will be in a position to mount a strong challenge this season.

“As always I will update supporters whenever I am able, as everyone knows I try to be as open and transparent as possible. I continue to ask for patience, this matter is my top priority and again I assure supporters I will always act in the best interests of the club.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone an enjoyable season and I look forward to travelling with our massive away support to Brighton on Saturday for the first game of the season.”