Kuwaiti eyes British football side takeover

Businessman Fawaz Al-Hasawi said to be close to striking deal for one of two clubs
Al-Hasawi told Kuwaiti television that he hoped to buy an English club within two weeks.
By Claire Valdini
Thu 31 May 2012 12:44 PM

Kuwaiti businessman Fawaz Al-Hasawi is reportedly days away from buying a prominent English football club after telling national television he is interested in acquiring a side.

The Kuwaiti national, who resigned as president of Kuwait’s biggest football club Qadsia SC this week, has been linked to several football clubs including Championship teams Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

Al-Hasawi, whose family made their fortune in the refrigeration business, told his Twitter followers that he is currently out of the country but they will “in the coming days, hear news that will please you”.

Al-Hasawi told Kuwaiti television that he hoped to buy an English club within two weeks.

“It’s an English club. We have signed an agreement and hopefully within two weeks things will become very clear.”

“Not in the Premier League but in the first [division],” he added. “This club is better than any of what you have mentioned like Watford or Brighton. The club has rich history.”

The Sun newspaper on Thursday said the Kuwaiti, who has previously attempted to buy a majority stake in QPR, is hoping to buy Nottingham Forest, which has been on the market since the death of its owner Nigel Doughty in February.

The newspaper said Al-Hasawi will fly into London Thursday to complete the formalities of the deal.

Separately, speculation has been mounting that he could make a bid for Leeds United, which this week revealed they are in talks over long-term investment.

Al-Hasawi has previously been quoted as saying he wanted current Leeds boss Neil Warnock to be the manager of his new club after being impressed by him during QPR’s promotion season.

The acquisition of a football club would give Al-Hasawi automatic membership to an elite club of Gulf investors that own European football teams. Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited, led by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, acquired Manchester City for a reported US$321m in summer 2008.

Qatar Sports Investments bought a 70 percent stake in French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in June last year. The investment firm became the sole shareholder of the club after purchasing the remaining 30 percent stake in March.

Dubai’s Royal Emirates Group owns the Spanish La Liga side Getafe.

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