Saudi prince backs out of Maine Road

Manchester City have missed out on a pounds 75m investment by the Saudi Prince Walid Ibn Galal, whose advisers yesterday informed the club's chairman, Francis Lee, that they had lost interest in the First Division side, writes Alan Nixon.

Prince Walid, whose money helped Euro-Disney survive, wanted to buy control at Maine Road and spend some of his personal fortune on signings.

Lee, however, refused to show the club accounts to Walid's Canadian-based Mission Hill Group. Lee is under growing pressure at Maine Road, with no manager, poor results and other groups talking with rival shareholders.

The Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan, with pounds 130m, has been wooed by City shareholders, but he was reluctant to move because of uncertainly over the club's financial position.

The Scottish Second Division club Clyde last night dismissed their manager, Alex Smith, and his assistant, John Brownlie, as a cost-cutting measure.

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