Mandaric could face rivals in Leicester bid

November 1, 2006

Leicester have confirmed a £25million takeover offer has been received from former Portsmouth owner Milan Mandaric - but stressed he was not the only one interested in buying the club.

Mandaric, 68, stepped down at Pompey after selling to Alexandre Gaydamak, although he continued as non-executive chairman at Fratton Park before severing his links at the end of September.

The Serbian-born American has announced his intention to take a controlling interest of the Foxes, although Mandaric has competition for control at the Walkers Stadium with two unnamed American parties and a proposal from a midlands-based rival also in the pipeline.

A statement released by Leicester in response to Mandaric's bid read: 'We have received an offer from Mr Mandaric and this will be given full consideration.

'We have a number of options available and it is imperative the right decision is taken to safeguard and develop the best interests of the football club in the short, medium and long term.

'As soon as is practicably possible, the club will communicate further with shareholders, supporters and staff.'

Mandaric has promised to take the Foxes back into the Premiership they left in 2004 and claimed interest from takeover rivals had forced him to step up his plans.

'I feel I have made a fair and generous offer to acquire Leicester City from the present shareholders,' he said.

'Under the circumstances and following a very emotional departure from Portsmouth after nearly eight years of ownership, I have given serious thought to the offer, the timing and the implications of such a bid.

'In an ideal world I would have preferred to have delayed my return to football but under the circumstances and following other interest in the club I have had to accelerate takeover plans.

'My aim is to re-awaken Leicester and aspire to the dreams of their passionate supporters and bring Premiership football back to the club at the earliest opportunity.'

Meanwhile, Mandaric's offer has been given a cautious welcome by former Foxes chairman Jon Holmes, who masterminded the club's escape from administration in February 2003.

The club had spent nearly four months in the doldrums before the Holmes-inspired rescue package prevented financial oblivion with then team manager Micky Adams going on to earn promotion to the top flight at the end of that campaign.

Alongside former City players Gary Lineker and Emile Heskey, Holmes remains one of the club's 47 shareholders.

'It is a very interesting development but we will wait to see the fine details,' he said.

'We have a lot of respect for what Mandaric achieved at Portsmouth and we are looking forward to what he has to say.

'He has a proven track record and is a football man through and through.

'I am going to listen to what Mandaric has to say but I certainly would not want to discourage him.'