Villa takeover falters after support withdrawn

A possible takeover of Aston Villa receded today after one of the key men involved pulled out of negotiations.

A possible takeover of Aston Villa receded today after one of the key men involved pulled out of negotiations.

Multi-millionaire Richard Thompson has withdrawn his support from Ray Ranson’s takeover bid apparently due to frustration that they have failed to secure a meeting with Villa chairman Doug Ellis.

Ranson, the former Birmingham defender who is now a wealthy businessman, may press ahead but is lacking the financial muscle of Thompson, a former QPR chairman who owns the Jaeger and Viyella fashion brands.

Ranson told the Express and Star: “I’m keeping my options open. Obviously I’m disappointed that Richard has decided to bow out but I can understand his frustrations.

“Doug Ellis, who has gone on record as saying he is willing to listen to offers for the club, has declined to even meet us to discuss our plans. He has said our offer significantly undervalues the business, but if that is the case then tell us why.”

The pair had offered around £32m (€48.6m) but Ellis is believed to be looking for close to £60m (€91m) because of the development potential of land around Villa Park.

Aston Villa were not available for comment.

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