Fans flock to buy Forest

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The Independent Online
It used to be just FA Cup finals that brought previously little- known football supporters out of the woodwork - now it is takeover bids.

The long-running Nottingham Forest saga has seen the emergence of "lifelong Forest fan" and video film maker Grant Bovey, who lives in West Sussex, and the converted Rangers devotee Sandy Anderson, who at least has a home in East Leake, a 20-minute drive from the City Ground.

Now another bidder has popped up to declare an allegiance - a somewhat long-distance one - from an Italian living in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Mario Cardinali, who is aiming to raise pounds 20m largely from Asian investors, at least has a pedigree. He was educated at Ilkeston Grammar School, played football for Notts County's A team and his parents still live at Trowell, just off the M1.

Not that it makes things any easier for the 203 shareholders who must decide into whose hands their club eventually falls. Having turned down one bid - the consequence of which was an uncomfortable afternoon's viewing under police protection on Saturday - they may now have to consider the relative merits of half a dozen.

For most of those among us attending a football match this weekend, the business of being a supporter is a straightforward matter involving 90 minutes of partisan yelling followed by an evening of celebration or consolation, whichever is appropriate. For them, life is no longer quite so simple.