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By ESPN Staff
Nov 2, 2006

Foxes fans group back takeover by Mandaric

Leicester fans have given a hearty welcome to former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric's reported £25million takeover of the Walkers Stadium club.

Mandaric stepped down at Premiership side Pompey after selling the club to Alexandre Gaydamak, although he continued as non-executive chairman at Fratton Park before severing his links at the end of September.

But yesterday the 68-year-old announced he had tabled a bid for City, who currently lie mid-table in the Championship.

The club later confirmed Mandaric's approach but declared there were 'a number of options available' as two unnamed American interests and one Midlands-based party prepare rival proposals.

But Lance Tomlyn, chairman of the Leicester City Independent Supporters' Association, believes the Foxes would be best off in Mandaric's hands.

Tomlyn said: 'Most fans are not happy about where the club are at the moment but would be wary of outsiders coming in to buy the club.

'What if that happened and the money was pulled out all of a sudden?

'But `M and M', as he is already becoming known by Leicester fans, has a proven track record of being helpful to football clubs and the game in general.

'He is a football man and not the sort of person who would flog the stadium for housing, sell off the best players and strip the club.'

And Tomlyn is trusting current chairman Andrew Taylor, his board and the shareholders to make the right decisions for the Foxes' future.

He said: 'The current chairman and the board are all Leicester fans at heart - they all pledged money from their own pockets to save the club from administration three years ago.

'They certainly have the best interests of the club at heart and have done a good job to date because their is not a lot wrong at Leicester City.

'No-one wanted to touch us three years ago and now there are four possible takeover proposals.'

Leicester chairman Andrew Taylor now plans on consulting the club's 47 shareholders, who include former Leicester and England strikers Gary Lineker and Emile Heskey.

Lineker and Heskey were among those who pledged money to help Leicester out of financial administration with the Foxes emerging from the doldrums in February 2003.

Manager Micky Adams went on to win automatic promotion to the Premiership three months later, despite the handicap of a Football League transfer embargo, as Leicester finished second in the table to Portsmouth.

A statement released by the club read: 'We have received an offer from Mr Mandaric and this will be given full consideration.

'We have a number of options available and it is imperative the right decision is taken to safeguard and develop the best interests of the football club in the short, medium and long term.

'As soon as is practicably possible, the club will communicate further with shareholders, supporters and staff.'