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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 10, 2007

Souey 'has British backing' in Wolves hunt

Graeme Souness has confirmed a British businessman is part of the consortium which is bidding to take control of Wolves.

The former Rangers, Liverpool and Newcastle manager yesterday claimed he had tabled a £20million bid which met the Championship club's asking price but was apparently rejected, although Wanderers chief executive Jez Moxey denied he was in negotiations with the 53-year-old Scot.

Souness has since denied reports that his friend, football agent Pini Zahavi, is the partner who could provide additional capital to take over the Molineux club.

Souness is keen to protect the identity of his partner, and - perhaps aware that current Wolves owner Sir Jack Hayward would not be keen to let the club fall into foreign hands - he told the Wolverhampton Express and Star: 'He is a British businessman with British-based interests.

'We believe we put together a plan for Wolves that is exciting and which supporters would find appealing.'

One financial expert on takeovers in football can understand why Souness is keen to invest in Wolves, even though they are not in the Premiership.

'Wolves as a club have a massive potential from a commercial point of view,' said Henk Potts, an equity strategist at Barclays Stockbrokers.

'The club is a sleeping giant off the pitch as well as on it. It's not just the TV money, if they can get into the Premiership then the financial possibilities now are rapidly developing.

'There used to be a saying about a business model which involves making money out of 22 men who are paid millions to kick part of cow around a bit of grass being a bad idea.

'But that has rapidly gone out of date which is why there has been a lot of takeover talk recently. The Glazers, Randy Lerner and Dubai Capital International have seen opportunities to make money in football.

'Perhaps so has Greame Souness, albeit on a slightly smaller scale with Wolves.'

Potts thinks there is a real possibility Wolves could exploit their image commercially but promotion to the Premiership would be crucial to any success.

He said: 'Wolves is a club with an illustrious history and a good brand. They have a large fanbase to draw upon and if they were to reach the top flight they could make use of that history and image for financial gain.

'The Premiership has changed from its inception where it was a local product and is increasingly turning into an international global one. Overseas markets are just one area where Wolves can develop.'