Gianni Paladini, the former Queen's Park Rangers chairman, has confirmed he is heading a consortium which has launched a takeover bid for Birmingham City.
But the Italian insists, contrary to reports, that Flavio Briatore is not involved. Paladini, a close friend of former QPR owner Briatore, yesterday claimed the offer tabled was considerably more than the £12m reportedly rejected by Birmingham's board. Birmingham have made no official comment on the matter.
Paladini said: "I am involved in a consortium and the bid is not £12m, it's much, much more than that. Unfortunately, I can't really say too much because everything is in the hands of the lawyers. Yes, we've made an approach. But I'd like to make a point that Flavio Briatore is not involved in this venture."
Asked about the wealthy members of the consortium, Paladini replied: "Even if I mentioned the names you wouldn't know them anyway because most of them are Italian, they all live in Italy."
"I'm a Birmingham boy myself," Paladini added. "I've always liked Blues and I've got a good relationship with a lot of Zulu Warriors [City's hooligan element] – if they're still there I don't know, because I've been at QPR for a number of years."