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Sheard Rival Revealed For First Time.

Could This Be New Owner?

By Stuart Truman
April 25 2008

FORMER Darlington chief executive and Boston United chairman Jon Sotnick is understood to be the man rivalling Geoff Sheard in the battle for control of Sheffield Wednesday. Sheard is well known as the front man of a consortium trying to take over the club.

The Star revealed that Stonick is understood to be the man rivalling Geoff Sheard in the battle of the millionaires to take over at S6.

The identity of a second, rival group putting together a multi-million pound package has been a mystery - until now.

Sotnick moved into Boston in 2004 and left two years later after what the then team manager Steve Evans called a "magnificent job."

He switched to Darlington where he worked under millionaire owner George Houghton and left last December.

As with the Sheard group, the exact identity of his backers and extent of funding has yet to emerge - though it has been reported that Sheard is offering £40m.

The takeover saga has been going on for months and it is not yet clear why the affair has been so protracted, with a deal yet to be struck between any consortium and Wednesday's four main shareholders: Wednesdayite, Dave Allen, Geoff Hulley and Keith Addy.

Wednesdayite, who have yet to receive an offer for their 10 per cent stake, have confirmed that they and the Shareholders Association met Sheard at a Leeds hotel on Monday.

Chairman Darryl Keys has spoken within the last 24 hours to Sheard and to the rival consortium.

Though not commenting on the identity of the second bidder, Keys told The Star: "Geoff Sheard seemed relaxed and happy. The other party have told me they are making good progress. Because of what I have been told, I am convinced that ultimately some sort of deal can be done."

He feels that the issue may have been complex, partly because of the spread of the Wednesday shares.

Keys added: "I think everybody wants to see investment in the club. All we can do is to is to encourage any parties who are interested.

"I think this all has to come to head fairly soon, because discussions have been taking place for some time."

The club and any bidders have yet to comment on the takeover as they are restricted by Stock Exchange rules.

Wednesday formally told the City in February that they had received interest that may or may not lead to a takeover.

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