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Sheffield Wednesday sale collapses

4 September 2014

Sheffield Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric has said he will consider legal action following the collapse of the club's proposed takeover by Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov.

Oil and energy magnate Mammadov, who also owns Azerbaijan side FC Baku and French club Lens, exchanged contracts with Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric on a £40million club takeover in June.

Manadaric warned he was ready to pull the plug on the deal last month and the former Portsmouth and Leicester owner has now stated that Mammadov, who is also a sponsor of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, has been unable to complete a purchase of the club's shares.

Mandaric said in a club statement: "Unfortunately despite working hard with both Mr Mammadov and his representatives since the agreement was signed he has not been able to meet the obligations set out in the contract for either the purchase of the shares or the sponsorship arrangements.

"Our supporters were extremely excited when the takeover was announced, like me they believed that Mr Mammadov offered a great opportunity for the club, in hindsight my desire to please our supporters probably clouded my decision to grant further time for him to complete the process.

"During this period I have continued to manage the business and to fund the ongoing financial requirements of the club as I have always done and will continue to do so.

"As supporters will have seen, we have fully committed to the sponsorship agreement, we are proudly wearing our new shirts with the 'Azerbaijan Land of Fire' logo and this alongside the other advertising inventory will give worldwide coverage to the country.

"Whilst I hope that Mr Mammadov will very quickly overcome his difficulties in Azerbaijan, I cannot allow this continued speculation to continue and have asked my legal advisors to take such legal action as they consider necessary.

"The club as always will attract people who are interested in acquiring a top English football club.

"Accordingly, I will explore every serious possibility and if I believe that there is someone who can accelerate our plans to return this club to the Premier League then I will do all in my power to welcome them to Sheffield.

"I believe the legacy I left behind at my previous clubs should give supporters every confidence, if any is needed."

Mammadov, founder of Azerbaijan-based Baghlan Group, vehemently denied reports that he had been held in custody in his homeland due to financial difficulties earlier in the summer.

His French club Lens, whose promotion to the top flight was temporarily suspended at the end of last season due to a lack of funds promised by Mammadov, were unable to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closed.

Mandaric had been expected to remain as Wednesday chairman had the deal been completed.

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