Thursday, June 14, 2007

India's richest tycoon may bid for Birmingham City

Indian business tycoon Laxmi Mittal, who recently took over French steel giant Arcelor, is reportedly eyeing another grand acquisition, an English Premier League football club. The 56-year-old has emerged in media comment as a serious contender to buy Birmingham City FC that was promoted back to the top tier of the English system for next season. Mittal may face competition from an unnamed business magnate from the Far East, who may place a bid this week. Birmingham City owners David Sullivan and David and Ralph Gold may sell the club if the bid is more than £50 million.

"Birmingham City is an attractive proposition after making the top tier. If it went into the care of the world's fifth richest man, the Midlands club could be a power in English soccer, which is avidly followed by Indians. It is significant that Birmingham has a large Asian population," commented the Times of India. "The closest Indian connection to English soccer was when star striker Baichung Bhutia turned out for third-tier team FC Bury in the late 1990s. There are, of course, many Indian-origin players playing there," the newspaper said.

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