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Anderson confirms role in Forest consortium

Sandy Anderson, head of Porterbrook Leasing, yesterday confirmed his lead role in a powerful consortium bidding for control of Nottingham Forest football club as the group named its other members.

It also includes Charles Scott, head of Cordiant, which owns the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency, and Nigel Doughty-Hanson of Doughty & Hanson, the London-based private client fund manager. Also involved is Tim Farr, a member of the family which used to control Home Breweries, the Nottingham brewer now owned by Scottish & Newcastle.

It is thought that if the consortium's bid is successful, Mr Anderson will take on executive duties at Forest, possibly as chief executive.

It is not clear if this would mean him leaving Porterbrook, the train leasing company which was taken over by bus company Stagecoach in the summer in a deal which netted Mr Anderson pounds 33m

"We've got to consider what's best for the club," Mr Anderson said. "No decision has been taken and all this is a long way out. I'm very happy with Stagecoach."

The consortium, co-ordinated by accountants Stoy Hayward, is one of two group's battling for control of Forest, the struggling Premiership football club.

The other group includes former Tottenham chairman Irving Scholar, Blenheim exhibitions founder Lawrie Lewis and ex-Blenheim chief executive Phil Soar.

The Forest board met yesterday to consider the bids but has yet to name its preferred bidder. It was expected to make an announcement ahead of last night's league match against Blackburn Rovers. An emergency meeting of Forest's shareholders is likely to follow next month.

Mr Anderson's group is talking with other possible investors and has not ruled out increasing its offer for the club. Its current offer is around pounds 15m.

Further announcements on new investors may be made this week. The group said they were "quietly confident" of their chances in the bid battle.

Most of the businessmen in the group have local connections. Mr Anderson, a Scot who was once on the books of Partick Thistle, lives in Nottingham and supports the club. Nigel Doughty-Hanson hails from nearby Newark and is a season-ticket holder at the City ground. They brought in Charles Scott, who has no known Nottingham connections. Mr Farr is a Forest season ticket holder.

Stoy Hayward said yesterday that it was aware of a "golden share" rule which is a condition of the sale.

This rule dictates that 80 per cent of funds raised from player transfers must be re-invested in new players. The new owners will not be allowed to sell the club for five years and be barred from changing its name or the colour of the team's red shirts.

"We've known about that (the golden share) for some time and to be honest it doesn't make much difference.

"We were never interested in asset-stripping the club anyway so we are happy to be bound by it."