IRISH billionaire Denis O’Brien has issued a curt denial that he holds any interest in investing in Rovers.
O’Brien’s name was linked to consortium Sequentia Capital SA after Rovers chairman John Ryan reportedly discussed the proposed takeover of the club at the AGM of the Viking Supporters Cooperative last weekend.
But O’Brien – part of the group that bought Rovers from Ken Richardson in 1998 – strongly refutes he is involved in a new takeover attempt at the club.
In a short statement, O’Brien said: “Totally inaccurate claims have been made thereby creating an utterly false and misleading impression.”
O’Brien denies speaking to Ryan or any representative from Rovers regarding a takeover.
He claims he has not spoken to anyone about buying the club and also says he has no interest ‘whatsoever’ in investing in Rovers.
O’Brien’s links with Rovers date back to 1998 when Westferry – owned by the Wellington Trust of which the telecoms magnate was the beneficiary – bought the club from Richardson in a multi-million pound deal.
Westferry had been attracted by the prospect of moving Rovers into a new stadium and developing the prime land which Belle Vue stood upon. As such, they quickly offloaded the club to Ryan.
The Westferry deal to buy the club and land was brokered by property agent Kevin Phelan who is a confirmed part of Sequentia Capital SA.
O’Brien made a reported £4b fortune primarily from telecommunications.
Rovers have been handed a mouth-watering home draw against Leeds United in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
It is the second time in three seasons that the two clubs have been drawn to play each other at this stage of the competition, following Leeds 2-1 success in August 2011.
The last time the two sides met, in February 2012 at Elland Road, police had to prevent a tunnel bust-up escalating out of control, although the fracas still landed both clubs in hot water with the Football Association.
The tie will be played during the week commencing August 26.