What could have been
Sunderland finally announced investment from Glenn Fuhrman, Robert Platek and John Phelan - or FFP Sunderland Ltd. - last week, but another businessman who had hoped to invest in the club has also been in the news.
Mark Campbell had wanted to takeover Sunderland in the summer and part of his plan for the club was to incorporate Falkirk as a feeder club. That deal fell through, however, and Campbell instead set his sights on acquiring the Scottish outfit.
That takeover was also a protracted affair, but Falkirk have announced that the deal has fallen through, while thanking Campbell for his engagement with the club:
The club and Mark Campbell have agreed to end discussions on his proposals to acquire a controlling interest in Falkirk Football Club.
Mark and the club have worked closely over the last three months to structure a deal that would be in the best interests of the club, not only now as we seek to get back to the Championship but as a strong base to get the club back competing at the highest levels.
As with any such deal, negotiations have led to changes being proposed from both sides. Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach agreement on all matters and we have therefore agreed to end discussions on the current proposals. We have found Mark and his team open in all our dealings and wish to thank him for his willingness to engage with us.
The discussions have presented areas which we think are of interest to the club and would advance us both on and off the field. We are therefore continuing to explore such opportunities. It is in all our interests to ensure the future stability of the club but it is recognised that steps need to be taken to unlock its potential.
We will continue to seek investment that will benefit Falkirk FC.
Off the back of that news, Scottish newspaper Daily Record have had a look at Campbell’s business dealings and have revealed that his business empire is registered to an accountant’s office beneath a block of flats in Sidcup.
His firms - Markell Real Estate Group, Markell Group, and Markell Land and Property Developments - are all registered to MKS Accountants, a business whose neighbours include a barber shop, a Costa Coffee, a Co-Op and a fish and chip shop.
According to the report, Falkirk fan group Back The Bairns had concerns over Campbell’s business past, a past that included a bankruptcy in 2010 while he was running a pub, something Campbell himself said was related to the break-up of a marriage.
The report goes on to say that Campbell has received a summons to appear in court in New York after a former employee accused him of sexual harassment, something the businessman denies.
Advocaat’s first game
Dick Advocaat took over as Feyenoord last week, replacing Jaap Stam as the club’s manager.
He had his first game in charge of the club yesterday, which, as fate would have it, came against Lee Cattermole’s VVV-Venlo.
Advocaat’s side came out on top in a game that was closer than the 3-0 scoreline suggests, but afterwards Cattermole had nothing but praise for his former Sunderland manager, despite wishing the 72-year-old had taken the job a week later:
He’s a fantastic guy and I think he’s a good appointment for Feyenoord.
He bring a lot of energy to the squad, given his age as well, it’s amazing what he does.
He will be demanding, he’ll demand but he’s also infectious in his character. The players will feed off him and they’ll see what he gives them.
It’s a great start for him and I wish him the best of luck but I wish had came a week later.