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AFC Telford United reject potential takeover by Irish businessman

AFC TELFORD UNITED have rejected a takeover offer from Irish businessman Anthony McMullen after claiming he failed to show proof of funds.

The Bucks, reformed in 2004 after the original club closed due to massive financial issues, opted to move away from fan ownership last October in order to welcome outside investment.

Boss Rob Smith said the club – who finished 17th last season – will struggle to compete in the competitive National League North unless financial backing is secured.

Telford have confirmed they were in discussions with McMullen, who previously tried to purchase a 50 per cent stake in Scottish outfit Livingston before the club pulled out, but that they were reluctant after doing due diligence.

The Shropshire outfit claim McMullen said he wanted a 51 per cent stake in the club – but that he would only be able to pay for three per cent of the shareholding up front.

The Irishman has allegedly also been recently involved in companies that have gone into liquidation and the Bucks say his lack of clarity prompted them to walk away.

A club statement read: “The club board entered direct discussions with the potential investor from Ireland, there were a number of phone discussions and we met him face to face on May 15 and May 19.

“Our due diligence prior to the calls and meetings, revealed that the individual had made an unsuccessful bid a number of years ago to take a majority share in a club in Scotland, but that the board of that club pulled out, as a result of conditions the individual was making.

“We also established that more recently the individual had been a director and CEO of two companies that had gone into liquidation and in at least one of those cases it was alleged that creditors were owed money.

“In our discussions with him, the individual proposed to the AFC Telford United board that he take 51 per cent control, but that he was unable to purchase 51 per cent of the shares, as he could not do so without ‘going to the market to get a loan’.

“He stated that he could only purchase three per cent of the shares, but that he would want to immediately take 51 per cent control, he did not state when, if at all, he would pay the remaining per cent.

“The individual declined to sign a non disclosure agreement, declined to demonstrate proof of funds because he would need to go to the market for a loan, did not make any written or confirmed verbal offer to purchase shares, did not ask for any financial information or request to do any due diligence.”

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