Consortium aborts Partick bid

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The Independent Online

The bid to take over Partick Thistle has been called off for the time being. A consortium of Asian businessmen in Glasgow had hoped to secure a 51 per cent controlling share in the club, but have drawn back after their move sparked a furore.

The group have been shocked by reaction in the media and from the Partick chairman, Jim Oliver, who said on the club's telephone information service that he would not sell his shares to "an Indian who runs a curry shop".

George Galloway, the Labour MP who fronted the consortium, pulled out earlier yesterday to give the deal more chance of success after indications that Oliver would not deal with him. "I would hope the chances of success have not receded, although the statements made have rocked everyone involved," Galloway said.

Oliver is adamant that the board will not sell out unless there are specific guarantees. "They must demonstrate they can do a better job than the present board are doing, and that they have a pool of money which would be available to the present manager to strengthen his playing squad," he said. "They must be prepared to pay back to the present board the money they have put in over the last five years in buying shares and loans."