Notts reveal owners at last

LONDON - Notts County have revealed for the first time the identities of two key members of the independent trust which bought the League Two (fourth division) club in the wake of a Football League probe into the takeover.

County, widely acknowledged as the oldest professional club in the world having been founded in 1862, were taken over by a consortium known as QADBAK Investments in the summer and have installed former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as their director of football.

The Football League has been investigating the ownership of the club, which remained cloudy, with even their chief executive saying he did not know the identity of all the investors.

Yesterday County issued a statement revealing that the Middle-East based Shafi family and the Hyat family, "both highly respected and very successful members of the business world in the Middle East, Asia, North America and Europe" were key members of the trust that owns the club.

The family includes Sir Sikwander Hyat, described as a former Prime Minister of the Punjab.

The statement said QADBAK has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio across natural resources, heavy industry, logistics and Infrastructure.

A Notts County spokesman said: "Until now we have tried to respect the wish for privacy of our investors. But the confusion and misplaced allegations of the last few days have forced us to ask them to reveal themselves.

County, who were rescued from administration six years ago, were in the news last week when former England defender Sol Campbell walked out after one game with the club having signed a five-year contract.

Campbell said he left because other promised big-name signings had not materialised. - Reuter