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McClure Confirms Interest
McClure Confirms Interest
Sunday, 24th Jun 2001 00:00

McClure Confirms Interest

Lewis insists he is NOT part of that group, pointing out he is merely trying to sell the club for McClure's Ninth Floor umbrella firm. But the Swans managing director is standing for election to the Football Association of Wales' 27-man ruling council this summer and has to be involved with a club to be voted on.

Lewis confirmed:

"I would hope whoever buys the club will retain my services." (Yes but the fans wouldn't!!! -Ed.)

McClure, the Swans' outgoing chairman, would not shed any light on the people he was involved in talks with. One group, involving local businessman David Bradshaw has been linked with the takeover. They have held talks with McClure but it appears their hopes of doing a deal are on the wane.

Another consortium which has been linked with the club is said to involve Durham-based millionaire Mark Donnelly, a sportswear company tycoon reputed to be worth almost £50m.

He is reported to be the main player of a three-man consortium which includes Canadian businessman Neville Thomas, originally from Swansea. Lewis insisted he had heard of neither man, even though the pair, and a London-based marketing mogul, are continuing to have their names linked with a deal.

There is at least one other group also involved, but McClure was shedding no light on the matter.

"I told you personally in the first place when we put the club up for sale that the first announcement from me would be when the club was sold," he said.

"The only change to that I will confirm at this stage is that more than one conversation is going on with interested PARTIES. "I'm hopeful something will happen within the next few weeks. "But it's pointless speculating any further because you know as well as I do that no deal is done until it is formally signed. "What is it they say about the fat lady singing? Let's wait until pen is formally put to paper. An announcement will come then. "In the interim, we are still picking up the bills and we are still signing the cheques."

Meanwhile, whoever the new owners are, Lewis remains hopeful he can remain at the helm at The Vetch. His move to join the FAW follows McClure standing in the south Wales area three years ago - when the Swans chairman only polled three votes! There are eight candidates pushing for six FAW seats in the area.

The current FAW members - Ken Tucker, Ray Smiles, Keiron O'Connor, Mike Casey and David Griffiths - may well each be voted back on. That leaves Lewis likely to contest the remaining vacancy with John Harris of Neath AFC and Alan Watkins of Llanwern.

As members of the Welsh League management committee, it is possible they will split the vote, giving Lewis more hope than McClure of getting a seat upon the FAW. But even if that were to happen, he would still need to be involved with the Swans to hold down that FAW position.

The FAW election announcements will be made at the start of August. McClure will hope he has new Swans owners by then. Meanwhile, Lewis says the Swans will demand a £250,000 fee if and when Welsh under-21 ace Stuart Roberts leaves The Vetch this summer.

The winger, who is being linked with Charlton, can walk out because his contract has run out. But because he is under 24, Roberts will not be permitted to go on a Bosman free transfer. That means the Swans will get a six-figure fee for their man. If they can't agree one with the buying club, the matter will go to a transfer tribunal.

Photo: Action Images

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