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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Canal Plus near agreement on PSG sale

PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) - Canal Plus and a group of investors are working on the last details of the sale of troubled Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain, a source close to the talks said on Tuesday.

'All parties involved have been working flat out for the last two days. I don't think there will be an official announcement today (Tuesday). It will come in the next 48 hours,' the source said.

If the agreement goes through, Canal Plus, the pay-TV division of French media giant Vivendi, will sell the club to a group led by French businessman and former chairman of Ligue 1 club Lille, Luc Dayan, and the property firm Lucia, a subsidiary of the American investment company Colony Capital.

Canal Plus, Dayan and Paris Saint-Germain declined to comment.

Since he became Canal Plus CEO in 2002, Bertrand Meheut has repeatedly said that owning a soccer club was not at the core of the business of a television broadcaster.

However, he has also said that his company was not in a hurry to sell the club and would deal only with a credible and financially strong candidate.

Canal Plus, who bought the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 matches in 2004 for a record fee of 600 million euros each year until 2007, have spent heavily on PSG over the last 15 years but the club have not won the French title since 1994.

They currently lie eighth in Ligue 1, 22 points behind leaders Olympique Lyon.

The club also suffer from a bad image due to their violent supporters and, together with Olympique Marseille, were docked a point on Monday over a row involving the last league match between the two clubs.

The ethics commission of the French Football Federation also suspended the two clubs' presidents, PSG's Pierre Blayau and Marseille's Pape Diouf, from all official duties.

Both clubs have appealed against the ruling.