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Nov 10, 2010

Hull agree takeover deal with local businessmen

Assem and Ehab Allam have confirmed their takeover of Championship side Hull City, pledging to take over the club's debts - believed to be around £20 million - and make funds available to manager Nigel Pearson in the January transfer window.

A statement from the Allams read: "Businessmen Assem and Ehab Allam have agreed a Heads of Terms arrangement with Hull City owner Russell Bartlett to take a controlling interest in the Championship club.

"The deal was reached at 7pm last night [Tuesday] after several weeks of negotiations, leaving only the legal processes to be completed by the end of November.

"Once the agreement has been signed by both parties, the Allams will hold the majority shareholding in Hull City AFC and Superstadium Management Company. We are delighted to have reached agreement with Russell Bartlett to take a controlling stake in Hull City.

"More details of the agreement will be made public in due course. For the time being, it is important to stress to everyone, especially the supporters of Hull City, that we see our role as bringing financial stability to the club to help clear the outstanding debts and to enable it to survive and flourish.

"Our strengths are in business expertise and financial management. We will leave the football decisions to those who know best.

"The arrangements mean we will take over the club's debts and we have set aside funds for working capital and to secure new players in the January transfer window. The financial stability of the club and its long-term success is of paramount importance to us both.''

Egyptian-born Assem Allam, who is worth £150 million according to the Sunday Times rich list, explained that his decision to invest the money he has made from successful generator manufacturer Allam Marine into Hull is motivated by his ties to the area.

"I have been here for 42 years and I have built up my business while I have been in this area and it is time to pay back to this area," he told the Hull Daily Mail. "Hull City is very important to this area.

"I like football and I watch football and I follow things about football. I am a Hull City supporter so I would not go to make an offer for say Leeds United or Sheffield Wednesday. No, I would not go as far as that."

Russell Bartlett has been Hull's owner since 2007 and, despite selling his stake in the club, will remain a shareholder and non-executive director.

And former owner Adam Pearson, who sold the Tigers to Bartlett and Paul Duffen three years ago but returned as head of football operations last year, will continue in his current role.

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