JUN 01] THE STUART LINNELL
Mr G In Sky Blues Take-over Bid
Coventry-based night-club owner
George Hendry has made a sensational take-over bid for Coventry
City football club. John Sillett and George Curtis, who guided
the club to its FA Cup win in 1987, have also been linked to the
It’s understood that Mr Hendry
has met with Sky Blues Chairman Bryan Richardson with a view to
buying the club which was relegated at the end of the season
after 34 years in English football’s top-flight. Sillett and
Curtis are thought to be in line to join the club’s board of
directors if the bid goes through.
But Mr Richardson told me today
that, although he knows George Hendry well and meets him
regularly socially, there have been no serious discussions. The
Chairman added that there has been what he called “an
expression of interest” from Mr Hendry and that the Sky Blues
board would always consider any serious proposal from anyone
wanting to invest in the club, but he said that “no amount has
been discussed, nor any type of deal.”
George Hendry owns the Limelight
club in London and Pimlico’s No1 at Alveston near
Stratford-upon-Avon. Among the clubs he has previously owned are
Mr G’s and the Park Lane club in Coventry, Camden Palace in
London and Tito’s in Palma, Majorca.
Now he wants to add a football
club to his night clubs.
Coventry City last changed hands
in 1993, when local businessman John Clarke agreed to buy it for
£1.45-million, only to lose out to Bryan Richardson.
The club is estimated to be
around £50-million in debt, but is trying to put finance in
place to build its planned new stadium, Arena 2000, on the site
of the former Foleshill gas works on the outskirts of the city.
The new stadium would have a retractable roof and a pitch that
would slide under one of the stands to sit outside the stadium
when it was not being used for football. This would allow the
stadium to host pop concerts, world championship boxing and
other major events.
Alongside that, manager Gordon
Strachan is wheeling and dealing to keep the players he wants to
push the club towards promotion from Division One, as well as
bringing in new blood to boost his team.