It appears that reports of Bernard Halford's demise are much exaggerated. But I'm still puzzled about what's gone on here.
Here is the document that was posted at Companies House, dated Oct 8th, which clearly states that the 67-year-old had his contract terminated on Sep 23rd:
(click on image to enlarge)
However, an announcement on the official site yesterday evening revealed that Halford is to remain in his role as Club Secretary. I'm still trying to find out what brought about this turnaround, though maybe the club should have known better than to mess with a guy dubbed Darth Vader.
The club's official announcement also revealed that Greek shipping tycoon Victor Restis has joined the board. According to the MEN, Restis is a Thaksin nominee and will represent, along with existing director Taweesuk Jack Srisumrid, the 10% stake Thaksin has retained.
Here then is the new board in full:
Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Martin L. Edelman
Victor Restis (Thaksin nominee)
Taweesuk Jack Srisumrid (Thaksin nominee)
Another mystery is the role of property lawyer Martin Edelman. In its original story about the boardroom changes published last night, the MEN stated that 'club officials have stressed he (Edelman) is not providing advice on the acquisition of property in and around the Sportcity complex'. That was removed from a re-write of the story this morning, with the paper stating that Edelman was brought in 'for his high powered legal prowess and for his in-depth knowledge of sporting takeovers, having been part of the team that concluded the £1.1billion sale of NFL franchise the Miami Dolphins in February this year'.
A lot has been made of Edelman's involvement in the Miami Dolphins takeover (he was one of 15 lawyers who worked on the deal) but it is important to stress that Edelman is first and foremost a high-powered property lawyer.
In fact, everything about the City takeover shouts 'property deal'. The original spokesman for the takeover, Sulaiman Al-Fahim, is CEO of real estate firm Hydra Properties, while our new chairman has extensive interests in real estate and is a board member of Aldar Developments. Victor Restis is the founder of the Assos Property Group, and represents a recent trend among Greek shipowners to diversify into property, and Thaksin himself has been eager to become a property developer, announcing plans in May to build a new city in Cambodia.
I suppose only time will tell on this one. But it is worth noting that Dubai International Capital's attempt to buy Liverpool last year was based around plans to redevelop Anfield, with The Telegraph revealing that DIC hoped to make an estimated 25% annual return over seven years from its redevelopment.