Four bids for Forest

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The Independent Online
Cash-starved Nottingham Forest last night took the first steps towards accepting a potentially lucrative take-over.

Forest are more than pounds 15m in debt and have no funds to strengthen a team lying third from bottom of the Premier League. Indeed, they may have to sell players merely to appease their bankers. Last night's annual meeting of shareholders was told that the board has already invited proposals from prospective investors. It was agreed that the board would analyse the four offers received and make recommendations to a new meeting of shareholders,

There are four bids on the table and last night's decision to change the 130-year-old club's constitution will mean the abandonment of long- cherished democratic principles. Unlike other clubs in which individuals with substantial share stakes can gain control, Forest is run by 209 shareholders, each owning a pounds 1 share. No one can own more than one share and no company can hold shares.

A change to this policy will require a 75 per cent majority, and any successful bid would need the same level of support. Last night's meeting also elected a new club chairman, Irving Corn, who succeeds Fred Reacher.

The Scotland manager, Craig Brown, yesterday recalled Everton's Duncan Ferguson and Blackburn's Colin Hendry to his squad for the World Cup qualifier against Sweden at Ibrox on 10 November. Both players missed last month's trip to Latvia and Estonia.

The Nationwide Football League's 72 member clubs have received details of the provisional deal struck this week between the League and the Professional Footballers' Association to settle their dispute over television income. The League, which had originally offered pounds 550,000, is believed to have offered the union pounds 1.3m. The deal is to likely be approved at a meeting of the clubs on 14 November, when the players' strike threat should be lifted.

The French sports newspaper L'Equipe has reported that Blackburn Rovers have made an offer for Paris St-Germain's Panamanian international striker, Julio Cesar Dely Valdes.

Tony Yeboah has been given the all-clear to resume light training with Leeds next week. The Ghanaian has been out of action for seven months with damaged knee ligaments.