Barwell's pounds 1m bid for Saints

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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

Keith Barwell, a millionaire businessman, has launched a pounds 1m bid to buy Northampton - with the promise of more money to come. The 2,500 members of the Courage League Second Division leaders will be asked at an extraordinary general meeting on 10 December to support the takeover.

Barwell already has the support of the club captain, Tim Rodber, the director of rugby, Ian McGeechan, and the committee, most of whom were involved in the 1988 revolution which swept the old guard out of power.

"I have given the club certain assurances that they will have the right to buy back the controlling interest of the club,'' Barwell said.

"In the future I do see additional sums of money being required. They will be available. I believe this is the final brick in the wall which makes us very, very powerful."

The Saints are the latest club to be offered financial help in the game's new professional era. Saracens, of the First Division, were last month boosted by a pounds 2.5m injection from a local businessman and Sir John Hall has pumped millions of pounds into Second Division Newcastle.

Newcastle may face play-off, page 31