Wednesday dismiss Bates rumour

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The Independent Football

The board of directors at Sheffield Wednesday have dismissed speculation that Ken Bates is about to take control at Hillsborough. In response to some reports the club released a statement yesterday making it clear that they had entered into negotiations with the former Chelsea chairman "merely to determine whether his offer is worth consideration".

The board of directors at Sheffield Wednesday have dismissed speculation that Ken Bates is about to take control at Hillsborough. In response to some reports the club released a statement yesterday making it clear that they had entered into negotiations with the former Chelsea chairman "merely to determine whether his offer is worth consideration".

Bates recently announced that he was ready to invest a big chunk of his £17m fortune into the club but his approach was initially rebuffed by Wednesday's board. The club's directors feel that the supporters are now being misled after the board agreed to meet Bates again last week under the proviso that both parties signed a confidentiality agreement.

The Owls' chairman, Dave Allen, and Bates have publicly said they cannot work together, but the former bowed to pressure from fans and agreed to hold further talks in private.

"The board of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Ltd recently entered into discussions with Ken Bates in good faith and, as in normal business practice, on the understanding that they would be confidential," the statement said. "We, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, intend to honour those undertakings. However, during the last few days, reports have appeared in newspapers which were categorically wrong and therefore need correction.

"The basis of the discussions has not changed. They are not being held to decide how or when Mr Bates will become associated with the club but merely to determine whether his offer is worth consideration."

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