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A Football Philanthropist
DET Column
Tuesday, September 30 2003
There have been more rumours this week that Lionel Pickering may be on the verge of selling up and bringing in new owners to the Club. This is nothing new, these rumours have been around for well over a year now, and Lionel has often reiterated that he will only sell to someone with the best interest of Derby County at heart. RamsTrust will continue to fight to ensure this is the case.

Sir Jack Hayward, owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers and major benefactor for the past 13 years, also stated this week that he is ready to pass the club on to new owners. There are obvious similarities here, Sir Jack – like Lionel – is a multi-millionaire who was a fan before taking over the club. They clearly both share a passion for their team, and both want the team to continue to be successful after they have moved on. They are even a similar age.

Sir Jack has stated he is prepared to "give the club away" (and write off the £40m owing to him). He feels "The people of Wolverhampton should own it.........I was only the caretaker. It is not a sell-out or a takeover, it is a handover to the people of Wolverhampton. We don't want any travellers from antique lands to come in, we don't want a foreigner."

Sir Jack has stipulated that 25% of the club must be made available for Supporters to buy - a move hailed by the Wolves Supporters Trust.

Sir Jack will go down in Wolves folklore, and should be an example to all millionaire benefactors for Football Clubs. These men are doing a great service for their local community by helping their clubs and will be held in great affection because of it, but they must remember that the True Owners of all clubs are the fans, and without them there would be no club.

Franchise FC of Milton Keynes would do well to remember that.
 
To join RamsTrust, go to www.ramstrust.org.uk or write to RamsTrust, PO Box 6377, Derby DE1 9XP or telephone 0870 4321871 and leave a voicemail message.
 

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