The 'King Of Deals' this morning provided further evidence as to just how, exactly, he has amassed a reported ?1.7 billion personal fortune when he dropped another ticking time-bomb into the public arena.
Having opened the week with those “?20 million to spend…” headlines, Towergate Insurance chief Peter Cullum ended it with a two paragraph statement that, once again, suggested an iron first lurked beneath that velvet glove.
The board, he claimed, had turned down his offer of a meeting next week. And with the clock now ticking down to the start of the season and another bitter relegation fight looming unless Canary boss Glenn Roeder was granted the kind of power in the transfer market that Cullum's wealth could command, so both supporters and manager alike were being let down, he suggested.
They deserved better.
It was all incendiary stuff for the ranks of the Yellow and Green Army who have been granted a glimpse of a potentially golden future by the prospect of Britain's 40th richest man arriving at the helm.
It also did little to endear him to the board as Cullum went public again with what is already shaping up to be a bitter and tortuous process if the life-long Canary fan is ever to get a chance to play with Delia's toys.
For while the TV chef and her husband, Michael Wynn Jones, were not saying anything in public, privately there was a growing wariness of a man who is clearly used to getting his own way deal-wise – and is equally happy to appeal to the court of public opinion in his pursuit of a controlling interest in the affairs of Norwich City Football Club.
High-ranked sources suggest that, contrary to Cullum's latest statement, there has been no direct contact between the 57-year-old insurance chief and the club's principal shareholders since before Christmas. There's been no talk of a meeting because there's been no contact, was effectively the line.
In the meantime, however, the rest of the footballing world are now starting to presume it's already a done deal; that Glenn Roeder already has ?20 million sat in his back pocket and what was always going to be a fraught summer transfer market has now became even more complicated as all and sundry assumed Norwich were now batting in QPR's league fee and wages-wise.
They're not. And if both parties harden in their stance over the next days and weeks, a poisonous stalemate could swiftly develop.
?I'm surprised and at a loss as to why the Norwich City board has not accepted my offer to sit down with them next week to progress this matter further. My offer of investment was focused on buying new players to give Norwich City a fighting chance of returning to the Premiership,” said Cullum in today's statement to the Eastern Daily Press.
?This was a potential lifeline for the club coupled with a great opportunity to be a contender for next season. The alternative is the prospect of another season fighting against relegation to the First Division. With the new season just around the corner, it's vitally important that we conclude this matter soon for the sake of the manager and fans who deserve better in general.?
As the public finger pointing continues and the pressure on the board to do a deal with Kent-based billionaire intensifies, the basic issue remains the same.
Cullum – quite reasonably – is in no mood to give anyone ?20 million to spend without having control; control comes from the ownership of the 61.2% majority shareholding owned by Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones.
Having ploughed the better part of 12 years and ?9 million worth of their own time and money into the football club, quite reasonably the board's current owners would like a return on their investment if they are about to cede control to Britain's 40th richest man.
And on the basis of the numbers produced by the football club themselves in that fairly remarkable 'shopping list' of payments facing Cullum if he were serious about ploughing ?20 million straight into Roeder's team-building plans, the 'return on that investment' would not be a profit – just the money that they have put in over the last decade.
That, like Cullum's demand for control for his ?20 million, is not unreasonable.
Where the battle lines will be drawn is if Cullum and the Towergate representatives he is looking to place on the board expect the Smiths to have no say in the running of a club in which they continue to enjoy a 61.2% majority shareholding.
That doesn't work. And both parties know it won't work.
And under the laws of the land that govern the purchase of shares in a Plc, should Cullum make an acceptable offer for Delia's majority shareholding he has – by law – to make an offer for the club outright; to buy 100% of the issued shares.
Which the club valued at ?16 million earlier this week. Repaying the existing securitisation loan and loans by other directors clearly further complicate the picture, but the heart of the debate is all about control.
Control of the Smiths 61% shareholding.
Make them an acceptable offer and the deal's there to be had; fan the flames of public opinion too hard and there is every chance that the club's current owners will simply batten down the hatches and ride it out – or else, sell to someone else. The Turners, Andrew and Sharon, aren't exactly poor millionaires.
And they also have one card up their sleeve that 'The King Of Deals' doesn't – they live in Norfolk and wouldn't be the kind of 'absentee landlord' that the Kent-based Cullum might.
The danger is that if the Towergate side play too many tricks of the big, corporate takeover game, they will merely run into the stubborn side of the nation's favourite TV cook.
She won't be pushed around; nor will Wynn Jones be bundled out into the night by the corporate suits.
It is a fascinating match-up – and one that could swiftly turn very bruising and very bitter.
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