Moores’ bid to buy soccer club denied again – The San Diego Union-Tribune
Oh for three.
Former Padres owner John Moores has been rebuffed yet again in his quest to purchase a professional soccer team in Britain, this time with Nottingham Forest.
He and longtime business partner Charles Noell were close to finalizing a $61 million deal for an 80-percent stake in the storied club from England’s Championship, the de facto second division. They were supposed to complete the transaction in late December. Then it was Tuesday. Then there were reports Moores was on a plane to England and they would sign the papers a few days later. Then, it was before Saturday’s game.
Then, they were out.
“It is with great regret and disappointment,” Kuwaiti owner Fawaz Al Hasawi said in a statement, “that the club announces today that, despite much speculation in the media, all negotiations in regard to a partial sale of the club to U.S. owners have come to an end.
“We feel strongly that we have acted in good faith on behalf of the club and its fans and that such a deal as it stands is not in the interests of the long-term future of our club.”
Less than a year ago, Moores and Noell were equally close to purchasing English Premier League club Everton. Then Iranian-born billionaire Farhad Moshiri suddenly sold his shares in London’s Arsenal for an estimated $277 million and used that to purchase a controlling interest in Everton.
Two years ago, Moores and Noell tried to buy a controlling stake in Swansea City, an EPL club from Wales, but withdrew their offer amid opposition from fans, who collectively own 21 percent of the club. A banner displayed at one game said: “This is our club. Tycoons not welcome.” The club ultimately was sold last summer to an American consortium led by Jason Levien, the co-owner of MLS club D.C. United.
The opposite happened at Nottingham Forest, where fans favored an injection of cash into a club that is winless in eight games and in jeopardy of being relegated to English soccer’s third division.
The Nottingham Forest Supporters Trust issued a statement urging Al Hasawi and Moores “to get back round the table and find a way of concluding the deal.” During Saturday’s game against Birmingham City, fans chanted: “We want Fawaz out.”