Collapse of Birmingham deal sees Yu switch his sights to Wednesday

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY are understood to have held talks with a consortium headed by former Birmingham City director Sammy Yu over a possible buyout of the club.


Chairman Milan Mandaric, who took charge at Hillsborough in 2010, has made clear in recent months that if the right offer comes in for the Owls then he will consider selling.

Wednesday lost around £5m last season and it is believed Yu became interested in the Yorkshire outfit after earlier this month conceding defeat in his attempts to buy Birmingham.

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The former Hong Kong footballer, once vice chairman at St Andrews, had spent six months trying to strike a deal with Blues owner Carson Yeung.

After calling time on his quest to take control of Birmingham a little under three weeks ago, Yu said: “The consortium and myself really feel bad, and now maybe I will consider a takeover of another English club instead.”

Yu has since locked on to Wednesday, though reports of a deal being imminent at a price of £15m are understood to be well wide of the mark with the Championship club valued much higher.

Whether the on-going talks come to fruition remains to be seen but Owls officials were last night sticking to the established policy of only commenting when the club has something tangible to say.

Wednesday, however, are an attractive proposition for parties wanting to invest in a club with obvious Premier League potential.

Only Brighton & Hove Albion boasted a higher average attendance in the Football League than the Owls’ 24,078 last season, when the fight to avoid relegation was only won on the final day.

Mandaric has made clear in the past that he would be willing to sell if the right buyer can be found. The Serb, a former chairman of Portsmouth and Leicester City, said just last month: “I am not just looking for any buyer, I am looking for the right buyer who can take this club where it wants to go.

“There are a lot of people who come and have a look at the club but we are not pushing to sell the club at the moment.

“I said before if someone proper comes along and they are the right person for the club then I will step aside.

“I sold Leicester for less money than what I had invested but they were the right people and I felt like my mission was completed.”

Mandaric sold the Foxes to the Raksriaksorn family, in August, 2010. Since then, Leicester’s Thai owners have poured millions into the Midlands club in an attempt to win promotion to the Premier League.

The Serb took charge at Hillsborough late in 2010 to bring to an end a worrying few months for the Owls, who had seemed in danger of being placed into administration.

News of the interest in Wednesday follows similar speculation last week about an Irish consortium being keen on investing in Doncaster Rovers.