Ex-glamour model and former Playboy “Sex Symbol of the Year” Sybil Danning has made public her interest in mounting a takeover at Sheffield Wednesday, telling The S*n:
“We have been looking into buying an English team with a strong fan base and great potential. Sheffield Wednesday matches those ideals. It is one of the most famous names in English football and, even though it has suffered in the last few years, we believe we can give it the energy needed to get to the Premier League. We have been studying this for the past month and if negotiations go well we hope to conclude an agreement to buy the club.”
With Milan Mandaric reportedly willing to sell the Owls to the right owner, perhaps this one might actually happen. Unlike the following five barmy takeover links from recent years…
1. P Diddy – Crystal Palace
Another story to originate from The S*n, the hip hop superstar was said in March 2010 to have taken a shine to Crystal Palace as he liked their name, presumably borne out of a partiality to sipping Cristal. Sadly, then Crystal Palace administrator Brendan Guilfoyle said: “There is no truth in it whatsoever. I wish – I am a big hip-hop fan and I would be delighted if P Diddy wanted to buy Crystal Palace. I would welcome an approach and would willingly fly to New York to discuss purchase.” Unsurprisingly, one or two ‘news’ outlets decided to conveniently ignore Guilfoyle’s opening sentence.
2. Bill Gates – Newcastle United
In September 2008, word spread that Microsoft kazillionaire Bill Gates was interested in taking over a then turmoil-ridden Magpies. www.nufcblog.com said: “There are reports this morning that former Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, of all people, may be interested in buying Newcastle United. Bill is one of the best Businessmen in the world, and certainly takes a global view, and perhaps he has himself started to watch the Premier League games on the TV over here, which are proving very popular. We suppose Bill would buy the club out of his own personal fortune, since he left Microsoft recently and now concentrates on philanthropy and doing some great work in Africa and other places of need with his wife Melinda, with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.” The origin of the story? Only The S*n. Another cracker.
3. Colonel Gaddafi – AC Milan
Said www.soccerblog.com after the story first appeared in left-wing, Silvio Berlusconi-opposing publication Repubblica: “Berlusconi’s interest in Gaddafi centers around the lucrative oil deals that Italy might end up being the beneficiary if all goes well with the mercurial and unpredictable Libyan leader. The Libyans are, cue surprise; long been interested in soccer and have made past inquiries into the possible acquisition of Juventus and Roma. The sale of AC Milan might be a way of greasing the palm of Gaddafi as Berlusconi unloads the club in increments.” As you may have noticed, this one never quite materialised.
4. Tom Cruise – LA Galaxy
Everyone’s favourite Scientologist took his family to watch his mate David Beckham play in the summer of 2007 – and, sure enough, was subsequently linked with an $80 million buyout of the club. Fishin’? Impossible.
5. Chris Evans – Everton
Less a crazy rumour, more a crazy admission. Quoth the former TFI Friday and Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush host when speaking on talkSPORT in 2009: “We could have got it [Everton] for £13.5million. It hardly had any debt at the time – this was 1998, ’99, maybe 2000. We had a media group and our remit was to grow the company – we had to try and give the investors the return that we had promised them.
“One thing we did was looking at buying was a newspaper and the other thing we did was look at buying Everton Football Club. But the success of the group that we already had overtook the business plan and then the investors said that we didn’t need to risk it. So we didn’t need to take the risk that we wanted to take in order to grow to a bigger company.”