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Bid to revive Town takeover

A NEW bid has been launched to revive a takeover deal for Huddersfield Town - and save the football club from any threat of liquidation.

A NEW bid has been launched to revive a takeover deal for Huddersfield Town - and save the football club from any threat of liquidation.

David Taylor, leading a consortium behind a stalled bid to take over the club, is considering a "much more acceptable deal" to buy Town.

Barry Rubery (smiling) 158

Former vice-chairman Mr Taylor yesterday withdrew from negotiations about a takeover with club owner Barry Rubery, who acted quickly to submit a fresh proposal.

Those details will be put to consortium members early next week, with both parties hoping for an end to uncertainty over the future of the debt-ridden Second Division organisation.

Major shareholder Mr Rubery has said that liquidation "has to be an option" for a club more than £10m in the red, especially if he continues to receive personal abuse from fans while footing bills to keep the club afloat.

He insists that would be a last resort, however, and believes his latest move could result in an early handover of the reins to Wakefield accountant Mr Taylor and his backers.

"Liquidation is an option for any football club, but I don't believe it is in anyone's best interests here - my own, the club's or the fans - and I am optimistic that the David Taylor deal will go through," said Mr Rubery today.

"The deal on the table is precisely what he asked for and our debts have been reduced since we opened talks. I have to stress that money coming in from players leaving the club is going straight in to bolster the cash requirements of the club.

"That ongoing requirement for cash at the club outstrips the incomings and we all have to accept the consequences.

"We are in this situation for many reasons, but we can move forward with everyone pulling in the same direction. There's not a lot of point having a football club if you can't watch it without getting aggravation and abuse, and one thing which will drive me out is if that continues.

"My priority at the moment is for the team to win on Saturday and then, if everyone pulls together as a team both on and off the field, I'm sure we can resolve our situation. If not, then we have no chance."

Mr Taylor said he had been inundated with calls from fans, most encouraging him to continue the takeover but some accusing him of offering nothing more than Mr Rubery for the future.

"I personally believe that what is now on the table is a much more acceptable deal than the position we were in say a week ago," explained Mr Taylor.

"For a number of reasons, though, the consortium cannot discuss this together until next week, even though some feel it's gone on long enough and may want to commit their resources to other non-football related projects.

"People can't hang on indefinitely and our deadline has passed, but we do have a fresh proposal and we will be looking at it."

On Mr Rubery's comments about possible liquidation, Mr Taylor added: "If I were in Barry's position and had given so much money, it would be upsetting to get flak, but in football you are accountable to the fans the whole time, not just twice a year as you are to the shareholders in a plc."

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Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
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Martin Shaw
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