Former Birmingham City owner David Sullivan, recently linked with a potential takeover at Carrow Road, is said to have been inundated with offers to return to football.
The adult entertainment magnate can clearly take his pick of several significant football clubs, with West Ham United the favourites.
He has close ties to his boyhood club and Sullivan – thought to be interested in teaming up with his old Blues pal David Gold – has hinted that the Hammers would be his number one choice.
But the 60-year-old, who is back in the market after selling his stake in Birmingham to new owner Carson Yeung, has concerns over the level of debt at Upton Park – said to be as high as £85 million. And Sullivan will be keeping his options open as he looks to secure the best deal.
“I have signed confidentiality agreements with a number of clubs. I am not in a position to comment about any club I might wish to buy,” Sullivan told ESPN Soccernet.
While West Ham remain favourites, sources have suggested that the asking price had to drop to £100 million and include the debt to interest any potential investor.
This, in turn, would mean that Sullivan would have to stump up ‘just’ the £15 million, providing he took on the existing debt.
The Essex-based businessman is said to have offered to take up 50% of the struggling club for free, with a proviso to invest much-needed funds to rescue the club.
Sullivan is keen to save the Irons – the club he supported as a boy – and he has informed Icelandic owners Straumur that he is prepared to pump in £40 million to reinvigorate the famous club.
He wants to focus his cash on signing players and not have it tied down in debt, but as always, these affairs tend to be drawn out.
And the fact he has signed confidentiality agreements suggest that other parties – including the Canaries – could still be interesting him.
Sullivan sold his 24% stake in Blues to Yeung for around £20 million in September, having helped to transform the second city club from a down-in-the-dumps third tier outfit into an established Premier League outfit – despite the odd relegation.
He is said to want a similar challenge in his next venture and having long expressed his frustration at the commute from Essex to Birmingham, the short journey to Carrow Road would surely suit him much better.
Though it is not as convenient as the east end of London, it is not thought that would halt any potential interest and to add further intrigue, it is known from Canary sources that Sullivan’s former Blues partner Gold enjoys a close relationship with City majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones.
And with Norwich clearly a club on the up, as they embark on what seems like a realistic promotion bid, the Canaries could well be a more attractive proposition than they have been for some while.
Whatever happens, the next couple of months could be very interesting indeed…
Don’t go too far away over the next day or so as we’ll have a chat with new Capital Canaries chairman Gavin Cooper, as well as all the reaction from tomorrow’s Colney press conference.
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