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    Takeover Nears Completion

    By vdb, in Club News,

    Syed Ali's bid to purchase Blackburn Rovers remains on track despite reports of trade problems that he faces in Bahrain.
    Sources close to takeover have revealed to BRFCS that Mr Ali has completed due diligence and is now ready to purchase the club. Sources have indicated that legal procedures relating to the sale are well under way and Mr Ali hopes to complete the deal by the third week of September. Sources have also indicated that Mr Ali is now preparing to undergo the Premier League fit and proper test; no problems are envisaged with regards to this as Rovers' own checks are much more rigorous than the Premier League test.
    In a separate development, sources have revealed that Rovers representatives held serious talks with a new unnamed bidder this week in London. It is believed that the new bidder has potentially greater financial resources than Mr Ali. BRFCS understand that whilst Mr Ali remains in pole position to purchase Rovers, the Trustees want to fully evaluate all bidders before selling the club.

    Kamy

    Syed Ali Remains Confident

    By Kamy, in Club News,

    Despite media reports this morning suggesting that there could be new potential bidders in the race to purchase Blackburn Rovers, Mr Ali remains in pole position. Syed Ali's spokeswoman, talking exclusively to BRFCS, has confirmed that they remain confident of concluding the deal: "As all articles rightly state, we still have exclusivity until mid-September, and we are also still very confident and not concerned about the current rumors."

    vdb

    Syed Ali Remains Confident

    By vdb, in Club News,

    Despite media reports this morning suggesting that there could be new potential bidders in the race to purchase Blackburn Rovers, Mr Ali remains in pole position. Syed Ali's spokeswoman, talking exclusively to BRFCS, has confirmed that they remain confident of concluding the deal: "As all articles rightly state, we still have exclusivity until mid-September, and we are also still very confident and not concerned about the current rumors."

    Kamy

    Benjani Signs

    By Kamy, in Players,

    Rovers have confirmed that striker Benjani has signed a one-year deal. The Zimbabwe international was linked with Rovers during the January transfer window but ended up joining Sunderland on loan.

    vdb

    Benjani Signs

    By vdb, in Players,

    Rovers have confirmed that striker Benjani has signed a one-year deal. The Zimbabwe international was linked with Rovers during the January transfer window but ended up joining Sunderland on loan.

    Glenn

    Popov Pops In?

    By Glenn, in Players,

    The Bulgarian striker Ivelin Popov started a trial at Rovers yesterday, but after several national news outlets reported him as about to sign, John Williams has urged people to not jump the gun just yet. Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mr Williams said: "He is one of a number of strikers currently under consideration. We have not made an offer to his club."
    Join in our forum discussion about Ivelin Popov

    Glenn

    Popov Pops In?

    By Glenn, in Players,

    The Bulgarian striker Ivelin Popov started a trial at Rovers yesterday, but after several national news outlets reported him as about to sign, John Williams has urged people to not jump the gun just yet. Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mr Williams said: "He is one of a number of strikers currently under consideration. We have not made an offer to his club."
    Join in our forum discussion about Ivelin Popov

    Kamy

    Syed Ali Q & A

    By Kamy, in Club News,

    This morning BRFCS talked to the man behind the bid to buy Blackburn Rovers, Syed Ali, via his representatives. Mr Ali has been granted a four-week exclusivity period in which he hopes to purchase Blackburn Rovers.
    The Q&A aimed to ask questions which have not been asked by the media. Below are Mr Ali's answers:
    Fans are keen to learn about his background. Therefore, it would be great if we could start with learning about his business background.
    Based in Bahrain, Ahsan Ali Syed is the founder and President of Western Gulf Advisory (WGA).
    He founded WGA in 2008, following in the footsteps of his family who have over 150 years of history in private sector lending across Asia. Mr Ali has been self-employed since the age of 16 and closed his first significant deal worth $1.5 million at the age of 18. Mr Ali now plays a role in the management and the boards of over 133 companies worldwide.
    Mr Ali considers himself and his company to be experts in turnaround stories by converting non-performing assets into performing assets. Between 2003 and 2004 he bought a Canadian company for C$ 565.000 and transformed it into a valuable vehicle worth C$ 8 million within only 16 months. Mr Ali’s expertise and professionalism is highly recognised in the financial world, which is why he acts as a financial adviser to sovereign wealth, royalty, as well as many high net worth individuals.
    Mr Ali understands entrepreneurial needs and prides himself on being a reliable partner for all his clients. One of the main reasons he started his own asset management company was because he believed in his own ability and qualifications to manage and invest his own wealth carefully. Mr Ali strongly believes that investments are not just about profit-making and capital preservation but also about selflessness and creating social welfare.
    Mr Ali holds a bachelor degree in law as well as a master degree in finance from universities in India as well as abroad.
    He mentioned in interviews yesterday that he had followed Rovers since they won the Premier League in 1995. Has he followed them as a fan or viewed them as a business opportunity?
    He has followed Blackburn Rovers for about 10 years now and has become a fan over the years.
    Many fans are excited by the potential takeover but cannot understand why he has chosen to purchase Rovers when there are other bigger clubs like Everton, Liverpool and Newcastle up for sale. What are the reasons for purchasing Rovers?
    There are two reasons why he decided to approach Rovers rather than the “big names†like Liverpool:
    1. The emotional aspect that connects him with Rovers as a fan
    2. The business aspect, obviously giving him the chance to turn around the club with the necessary financial resources and the right strategy in place
    Some people are becoming very cynical about the huge amounts of money involved in football and believe it is moving away from the fans. Rovers fans are very proud of the community/family feeling at Blackburn Rovers and wonder if it is too early to ask if he has thoughts about how he will build from that strong sense of community belonging the club has maintained?
    The community feeling at Blackburn Rovers is something that has impressed him in particular. This is why he asked all Rovers fans to treat him as one amongst them and not as an owner. When talking about the money, one should keep in mind that this is a long-term investment enabling the club to grow steadily. No one wants to change the club radically but just provide the resources necessary to utilise its full potential.
    Rovers are a club with a deep sense of history and tradition — the shirt, the badge and so on. Is Mr Ali planning to keep the traditions, evolve and update them, or go for something radically new?
    He is very well aware of the traditions as well as of the legacy of Jack Walker — no intentions to change as there is no need for change either.
    Because the town is relatively small and impoverished, the relationship to the football club is altogether far more symbiotic and important than that between the big city clubs and their host communities. How does he see the town of Blackburn benefiting from his global aspirations for the club?
    Although he is not looking for short-term revenues, one of his goals is to make the club self-sustainable. This will involve a strategy Blackburn as well as Lancashire will take advantage of. However, it is a little premature to talk about this.
    The club gets poor treatment from the national media, who are obsessed by the big city clubs. Is he going to use this to his advantage by "flying under the radar" as he builds up the team and the business or is he going to raise the profile of Rovers from day 1?
    As any true fan he wants the club to get that treatment from the national media it deserves. However, this should be because of their achievements on the football field and this is something on his agenda.
    What particularly impressed him about Jean-Claud Darmon and does he have some specific marketing objectives?
    Jean-Claude Darmon is the so-called “father of French footballâ€. He is very experienced in marketing football clubs and is currently not only one of our advisors but also works on a strategy for Blackburn Rovers.
    What timescales does he envisage for growing attendances and building a new stand and other facilities at Ewood?
    He has a 15-year plan for the Rovers divided into 3 phases of 5 years each. The first phase will focus on marketing the club nationally and internationally, increase the capacity of the stadium and increase the facilities of the academy to enhance the potential of young talent in Lancashire.
    Fans are delighted that he is looking to keep Sam and John and the people behind the scenes at Ewood because they are generally regarded as doing an excellent job. What are the characteristics he particularly looks for in a management team when he is assessing them as candidates for investment?
    Obviously, Sam and John have made a fantastic job at Blackburn especially when taking their limited resources into consideration. He is a huge fan of talent and this is something he appreciates when it comes to business.
    Sam is renowned for his pioneering work in the English game for introducing sports scientists and pushing the envelope of what is possible in developing players. Would it be possible to develop a world-class centre of excellence in sports science at Brockhall perhaps linked to some of the top-class universities in the region?
    Our team is currently working on the different aspects of utilising the potential of Blackburn Rovers and its assets. Again, it is a little premature to go into details here.
    Today is the tenth anniversary of Jack Walker's death. Jack only owned the club in the last nine years of his life yet you have plans for the next 15 years. How do you feel looking at the legacy of Jack and the prospect that his tenure will be longer and even greater than that of Jack?
    He is well aware of the legacy of Jack and his inheritance. However, he does not want to compete with him but wants the best for the club — as Jack did. This is all that counts at the moment for him.
    How have the talks between the negotiating team and the Rovers board gone over the last 2 days? What kind of timescale is he looking at in terms of completing the takeover?
    The talks went on very well and all parties are on the same side. What will follow is the formal procedure and unfortunately this takes time. Therefore, it is very hard to predict the exact timescale. But it is obvious that Mr Ali wants to complete the takeover as soon as possible.
    I would like to put Mr Ali into a hypothetical situation: he has completed the purchase of Blackburn Rovers — on day one what would be his immediate 5 objectives?


    Liquidity support for Sam
    Enhance capabilities of the academy
    Discuss suggestions and opinions with fans
    Marketing nationally and internationally
    Work hard to maintain premiership status
    Finally, does he have a message for the fans?
    The oxygen for the success of any football club is not financial resources but the fans that support a club. He would be truly delighted if the Rovers fans would accept him as one amongst them.

    vdb

    Syed Ali Q & A

    By vdb, in Club News,

    This morning BRFCS talked to the man behind the bid to buy Blackburn Rovers, Syed Ali, via his representatives. Mr Ali has been granted a four-week exclusivity period in which he hopes to purchase Blackburn Rovers.
    The Q&A aimed to ask questions which have not been asked by the media. Below are Mr Ali's answers:
    Fans are keen to learn about his background. Therefore, it would be great if we could start with learning about his business background.
    Based in Bahrain, Ahsan Ali Syed is the founder and President of Western Gulf Advisory (WGA).
    He founded WGA in 2008, following in the footsteps of his family who have over 150 years of history in private sector lending across Asia. Mr Ali has been self-employed since the age of 16 and closed his first significant deal worth $1.5 million at the age of 18. Mr Ali now plays a role in the management and the boards of over 133 companies worldwide.
    Mr Ali considers himself and his company to be experts in turnaround stories by converting non-performing assets into performing assets. Between 2003 and 2004 he bought a Canadian company for C$ 565.000 and transformed it into a valuable vehicle worth C$ 8 million within only 16 months. Mr Ali’s expertise and professionalism is highly recognised in the financial world, which is why he acts as a financial adviser to sovereign wealth, royalty, as well as many high net worth individuals.
    Mr Ali understands entrepreneurial needs and prides himself on being a reliable partner for all his clients. One of the main reasons he started his own asset management company was because he believed in his own ability and qualifications to manage and invest his own wealth carefully. Mr Ali strongly believes that investments are not just about profit-making and capital preservation but also about selflessness and creating social welfare.
    Mr Ali holds a bachelor degree in law as well as a master degree in finance from universities in India as well as abroad.
    He mentioned in interviews yesterday that he had followed Rovers since they won the Premier League in 1995. Has he followed them as a fan or viewed them as a business opportunity?
    He has followed Blackburn Rovers for about 10 years now and has become a fan over the years.
    Many fans are excited by the potential takeover but cannot understand why he has chosen to purchase Rovers when there are other bigger clubs like Everton, Liverpool and Newcastle up for sale. What are the reasons for purchasing Rovers?
    There are two reasons why he decided to approach Rovers rather than the “big names†like Liverpool:
    1. The emotional aspect that connects him with Rovers as a fan
    2. The business aspect, obviously giving him the chance to turn around the club with the necessary financial resources and the right strategy in place
    Some people are becoming very cynical about the huge amounts of money involved in football and believe it is moving away from the fans. Rovers fans are very proud of the community/family feeling at Blackburn Rovers and wonder if it is too early to ask if he has thoughts about how he will build from that strong sense of community belonging the club has maintained?
    The community feeling at Blackburn Rovers is something that has impressed him in particular. This is why he asked all Rovers fans to treat him as one amongst them and not as an owner. When talking about the money, one should keep in mind that this is a long-term investment enabling the club to grow steadily. No one wants to change the club radically but just provide the resources necessary to utilise its full potential.
    Rovers are a club with a deep sense of history and tradition — the shirt, the badge and so on. Is Mr Ali planning to keep the traditions, evolve and update them, or go for something radically new?
    He is very well aware of the traditions as well as of the legacy of Jack Walker — no intentions to change as there is no need for change either.
    Because the town is relatively small and impoverished, the relationship to the football club is altogether far more symbiotic and important than that between the big city clubs and their host communities. How does he see the town of Blackburn benefiting from his global aspirations for the club?
    Although he is not looking for short-term revenues, one of his goals is to make the club self-sustainable. This will involve a strategy Blackburn as well as Lancashire will take advantage of. However, it is a little premature to talk about this.
    The club gets poor treatment from the national media, who are obsessed by the big city clubs. Is he going to use this to his advantage by "flying under the radar" as he builds up the team and the business or is he going to raise the profile of Rovers from day 1?
    As any true fan he wants the club to get that treatment from the national media it deserves. However, this should be because of their achievements on the football field and this is something on his agenda.
    What particularly impressed him about Jean-Claud Darmon and does he have some specific marketing objectives?
    Jean-Claude Darmon is the so-called “father of French footballâ€. He is very experienced in marketing football clubs and is currently not only one of our advisors but also works on a strategy for Blackburn Rovers.
    What timescales does he envisage for growing attendances and building a new stand and other facilities at Ewood?
    He has a 15-year plan for the Rovers divided into 3 phases of 5 years each. The first phase will focus on marketing the club nationally and internationally, increase the capacity of the stadium and increase the facilities of the academy to enhance the potential of young talent in Lancashire.
    Fans are delighted that he is looking to keep Sam and John and the people behind the scenes at Ewood because they are generally regarded as doing an excellent job. What are the characteristics he particularly looks for in a management team when he is assessing them as candidates for investment?
    Obviously, Sam and John have made a fantastic job at Blackburn especially when taking their limited resources into consideration. He is a huge fan of talent and this is something he appreciates when it comes to business.
    Sam is renowned for his pioneering work in the English game for introducing sports scientists and pushing the envelope of what is possible in developing players. Would it be possible to develop a world-class centre of excellence in sports science at Brockhall perhaps linked to some of the top-class universities in the region?
    Our team is currently working on the different aspects of utilising the potential of Blackburn Rovers and its assets. Again, it is a little premature to go into details here.
    Today is the tenth anniversary of Jack Walker's death. Jack only owned the club in the last nine years of his life yet you have plans for the next 15 years. How do you feel looking at the legacy of Jack and the prospect that his tenure will be longer and even greater than that of Jack?
    He is well aware of the legacy of Jack and his inheritance. However, he does not want to compete with him but wants the best for the club — as Jack did. This is all that counts at the moment for him.
    How have the talks between the negotiating team and the Rovers board gone over the last 2 days? What kind of timescale is he looking at in terms of completing the takeover?
    The talks went on very well and all parties are on the same side. What will follow is the formal procedure and unfortunately this takes time. Therefore, it is very hard to predict the exact timescale. But it is obvious that Mr Ali wants to complete the takeover as soon as possible.
    I would like to put Mr Ali into a hypothetical situation: he has completed the purchase of Blackburn Rovers — on day one what would be his immediate 5 objectives?


    Liquidity support for Sam
    Enhance capabilities of the academy
    Discuss suggestions and opinions with fans
    Marketing nationally and internationally
    Work hard to maintain premiership status
    Finally, does he have a message for the fans?
    The oxygen for the success of any football club is not financial resources but the fans that support a club. He would be truly delighted if the Rovers fans would accept him as one amongst them.

    Kamy
    Syed Ali's proposed takeover of Blackburn Rovers moved a step closer today. Mr Ali's spokeswoman has confirmed to BRFCS.com that they have a "4-week exclusive period of due diligence. This gives us the necessary time frame to conduct our due diligence; however, we hope to proceed faster than that."

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