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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Marking Three Years Since Gianni Paladini's Port Vale Takeover Effort Failed at the Last Hurdle

It's three years since Gianni Paladini's bid to takeover at Port Vale was rejected at the last minute. A few months later, Paladini turned to QPR.

December 2003 BBC Stoke
An Italian is just the job for vale the consortium which currently runs Vale
Port Vale's board have unanimously agreed to go ahead with a takeover deal involving Italian football agent, Gianni Paladini.
There's been yet another development in the long-running story of the proposed takeover at Port Vale with the announcement that an Italian football agent has agreed to buy the club.
Gianni Paladini has managed the careers of Fabrizio Ravanelli, Benito Carbone and Brazilians Emerson and Juninho.
The football agent used to play for Italian giants Juventus and Napoli, and also the national team.
His interest in the club stems from his son Stephen, who is a Port Vale supporter and is fronting most of the money in the proposed deal to buy a controlling interest in the Second Division club.
Paladini has yet to complete the takeover, but his bid has been accepted by the club's Board of Directors.
The Italian's offer comes in the wake of the withdrawal of supporter Peter Jackson's bid, who backed out after being identified by a local newspaper.
Paladini says he intends to strengthen the team significantly, but must first prove to the Football League that he has the finances to take the club forward, as only then will their transfer embargo be lifted.
An Italian is just the job for vale

Life-long fan wins race to run Vale
Valiant fans are sure to be rejoicing with the news that the future of Port Vale is safe after a consortium led by a lifelong fan was given the nod to take-over at the club.
Football will be continuing at Vale Park after the board of directors accepted a cash investment from a consortium led by a lifelong Port Vale supporter, Peter Jackson.
Mr Jackson, who has supported the Vale for 55 years has won the race against Italian soccer agent Gianni Paladini to ensure the second division club can continue its existence.
Peter Jackson and Bill Bratt took part in a Port Vale phone-in with BBC Radio Stoke's Stuart George (Jan 5th 2004)
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Cash injection
The consortium will purchase 30,000 shares at £5 a share which has given the cash stricken club an immediate injection of £150,000 which will stabilise the finances.

The consortium has also taken up an option to buy the remaining unallocated shares, and will have two seats on the board.

Chairman Bill Bratt, who will remain in office, told BBC Radio Stoke:

"The investment by the die-hard Vale fans ensures the future of the club is safe, and remains in the hands of the supporters".

Bill Bratt spoke to BBC Radio Stoke's Jim O'Hara saying he was appalled with the Italian offer and he's happy with the outcome
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Great potential
Peter Jackson said: "We believe the club has great potential and we are confident we can introduce the right business management to enable the club to realise that potential."

A decision to agree on the investment took nearly seven hours.

Manager Brian Horton will now hope the take-over allows new players to be brought in as the club is currently the subject of a Football League transfer embargo because of its financial difficulties.

Gianni Paladini spoke to BBC Radio Stoke's Stuart George about his disappointment
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Check the timelines Port Vale Takeover Saga - Spring 2003
Port Vale Takeover Saga - mid Dec 2003
Port Vale Takeover Saga - late Dec 2003
Port Vale Takeover Saga - New Year 2004

BBC - Life-long fan wins race to run Vale

The Sentinel (Stoke) December 30, 2003

Anger From Paladini After Increased Bid
Gianni Paladini has accused the Port Vale board of being "unprofessional" in their handling of negotiations to sell the club. Speaking minutes after learning his bid had been rejected, the Italian football agent said he was close to tears, having arrived at Vale Park yesterday morning believing he was set to finalise a deal.He said he was shocked by the last-minute arrival of successful bidder Peter Jackson and was so desperate to take control of the club he upped his offer during six hours of talks, although he refused to discuss the terms he put to the board. Mr Paladini started the day as the firm favourite to become the club's new owner after tabling a £530,000 bid for 53 per cent of Vale's shares, with a £150,000 loan offered as an immediate payment to solve the pressing financial crisis.He said: "I feel very let down and emotional. Why did I come here to sign a contract to find they (the board) had someone else there? "We didn't expect another offer. It's very unprofessional."I'm very disappointed and I feel like crying. We put in a bid, we increased the bid."At one point we thought we had done the deal and I'm just in shock that they've accepted the other offer."I have had people come all the way from London and Manchester because we all wanted to do a deal."I don't understand why the board has made this decision and I'm baffled by it. I'm very disillusioned."At one point I was prepared to take the club the way it is without making any checks, I was that committed to it, but I was advised against that by my solicitors." Mr Paladini insisted he will remain a Port Vale fan and will be there should the club need him in the future.And he said he hopes Stone-based businessman Mr Jackson will match his ambitious plans for the club and bring success back to Vale Park.He said: "I had players in mind to bring over - international players. I was thinking big-time for Port Vale and I hope the people who come in now have better ideas."I'm still available for Port Vale and I will still follow the club. If I can do anything for the club I will. If they need me in future I'm ready." Mr Paladini declined to identify the big-name players, although national press had strongly linked former Italian international striker Fabrizio Ravanelli with the club.The Sentinel (Stoke) December 27, 2003Paladini Has Grand Plans For A Bright Vale Future:Prospective Port Vale owner Gianni Paladini has announced ambitious plans to lift the club up the Football League ladder. The Italian football agent - who witnessed Vale's thrilling 3-2 win at Sheffield Wednesday yesterday - revealed his plans included signing a former international and finishing the Lorne Street Stand.Paladini, who is waiting for acceptance of his offer from the board meeting on Monday, would initially purchase £150,000 worth of shares to take the club out of immediate financial trouble. He would then get an option to purchase the remaining £380,000 worth of shares to gain a controlling interest in Port Vale.He said: "I am fully committed to Port Vale now."This is not something that has happened overnight. Everybody thinks I am crazy, but only a crazy man invests money and doesn't take it seriously."For me to say we will be in the Premier League in two years is crazy, but if we are there, then why not? It depends what we do this year, if we get lucky and have a good run."Our first thing will be to finish off the stand because it is like a punch in the eye, the way it is now.
"We then want to start filling the stadium to capacity by bringing in exciting people and big names." Paladini is already hoping to bring a former international to Vale Park and suggested there may be more on the way. He said: "I will have to speak of new players with the manager at first, but I don't think he will say no to the type of player I have in mind."I am hoping to bring a player to watch the first home game in the New Year. He won't be able to play because it will be too early. He played at international level until last year and he is the sort of player we need to bring to the club.Meanwhile, Vale director Charles Machin welcomed the Italian's influence and admitted he hoped a deal could be struck soon.Machin said: "I have drafted an agreement which I think is fair all round and Gianni is happy with that. If it is accepted by the club then, from Tuesday, we will be financially safe."I realise the fans will not have a controlling interest then, but they will have a very big minority interest at 46 per cent, along with four seats on the board. Hopefully it will be good news for the fans in the New Year." (Stoke Sentinel)

See Also: Boardroom Blues Boardroom Blues

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