Businessman wants to invest in Town

A SELF-made millionaire is to approach Ipswich Town today to offer the cash-strapped club £5 million after a bid to invest in bitter rivals Norwich City apparently fell on deaf ears.

A SELF-made millionaire is to approach Ipswich Town today to offer the cash-strapped club £5 million after a bid to invest in bitter rivals Norwich City apparently fell on deaf ears.

Childhood Canaries fan Colin Davey, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, told the EADT he would "definitely" request a meeting with Town chairman David Sheepshanks if a response to his proposals was not forthcoming from Carrow Road bosses.

A life-long football addict, the 38-year-old says he is determined to own a stake in either team in return for a seat on the board, saying now was the right time to "take a chance" in the hope one or other may gain promotion to the Premiership – bringing greater financial returns to investors.

And Mr Davey, from Coney Weston, has also pledged to one day own his own club – whether its team plays in blue or yellow and green – and is confident he could secure that club's future by developing its youth team and working to a five-year plan.

"The way things are going at the moment, I will definitely be approaching Mr Sheepshanks to see if we could do business," he said.

"I get the feeling that City want my money, but they do not want me on the board, and I am not prepared to put that quantity of cash in without having a say about how it is spent.

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"I love football, and if Norwich do not take up my offer I will speak to Ipswich today and see if I can organise a meeting for later in the week so we can talk.

"And I would probably be prepared to invest more than £5m if more cash was needed to buy the players to take the club back into the Premiership.

"I was brought up in Norfolk and am a Norwich fan, but for the last eight years I have lived in Suffolk and am now torn 50-50 between the two clubs – I would be very happy with a stake in either."

After Saturday's 2-1 victory over Derby County, Town are currently third in the First Division table – just two points behind second-placed Norwich, who drew 0-0 with Millwall away from home at the weekend.

And now Mr Davey, who owns and runs a number of businesses based around the betting industry, says he will put pressure on both clubs, becoming involved with whichever offers him a package.

He is planning to sell his companies, together valued at £100m, in February, and hopes the cash could help pave his way to fulfilling his boyhood dream of eventually owning his own team.

"My dream is to watch the players run out onto the pitch and know that they are part of my club," said Mr Davey, who approached the Canaries in March with an offer to buy out joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones.

"I have got the money to invest, and I am going to be a fair player in the football world. I can bring a lot to a board, and have experience of pulling companies round. I don't see why I couldn't pull a football club round as well.

"It is looking a good bet that one of these two teams may get promoted this season, in which case they would definitely need more money. I need to take a chance otherwise it could be more expensive to buy into the teams if they do go up."

Although Mr Sheepshanks would not comment on Mr Davey's proposal, he highlighted the club's current public share offer and made the point that prospectuses are available to anyone keen to invest.

And at Carrow Road, club chief executive Neil Doncaster would not comment directly about the offer, but said: "We are of course always interested in speaking to anyone who expresses a serious interest in investing money in Norwich City."