The Blackburn Rovers chairman, John Williams, says a number of parties have expressed interest in buying the club, with a company run by the wealthy Indian businessman Ahasan Ali Syed yesterday confirming a formal approach. Rovers will want definite proof of investment plans before they agree to any takeover.
The Jack Walker Trustees will consider selling the club but only if future investment can be guaranteed – Syed is reported to be promising to clear the club's £20m debt and invest £300m to sustain Rovers over a long period of time.
Syed's investment company Western Gulf Advisory (WGA) made a formal approach to Blackburn's advisers at investment bank Rothschild. WGA have a non-disclosure agreement about the talks but a company spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that we made a formal approach to buy Blackburn Rovers."
Williams said: "There have been a number of interested parties for some time and discussions are ongoing."
WGA are based in Bahrain and Switzerland and 36-year-old Syed is a lawyer who studied at the London School of Economics.
A number of consortiums have contacted the Jack Walker Trustees over the last three years, including one fronted by ex-JJB Sports chief Chris Ronnie and another based in Iceland. In June another Indian entrepreneur, Saurin Shah, was reported as being prepared to bid for the club but a deal has never come close to being done.
Blackburn yesterday announced a new long-term contract with Steven Nzonzi, the highly-regarded young French midfielder who made a big impact last season. The 21-year-old was the club's player of the year in his first season and has signed a five-year deal which will keep him at Ewood Park until 2015.
Williams said: "We are delighted to secure Steven for the long term. He was outstanding last year and the new deal is richly deserved. We hope he makes further progress and continues the fantastic form that impressed so many people last season."