Four bidders fight to buy Cornard United

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CORNARD United Football Club will be in new hands by the time the 2011/12 season kicks off.

That is the belief of the owner and manager Chris Symes, who claims he now has four bidders fighting it out for the club after the Suffolk Free Press exclusively revealed he is set to sell up after 17 years.

His accounts have been passed to the would-be buyers’ solicitors as part of the due diligence process to acquire the Ridgeons League First Division outfit and Symes believes he will no longer own the club come August.

“I have four offers now and the phone hasn’t stopped since the article was in the paper.

“They are more substantial offers from bigger organisations than the ones there before.

“I have furnished them with my accounts and they are now doing their due diligence, which takes time.”

He added: “During the close season, hopefully, it will all be sorted.”

Symes, who has revealed he will sell his £50,000 investment in the Blackhouse Lane club for £25,000, is now in the process of re-registering Cornard United from a members club to a limited company in order to sell.

The process will require the members, the playing staff of all five teams and social members, voting the proposal forward at an Annual General Meeting.

“I am 65 this year and my wife wants me to take it easy but I do not want to leave while all this money is tied up in it,” said Symes. “But it is a very enticing prospect for some young person with big ideas.”

The current bidders are all said to be from either Sudbury or Colchester and all involving people from football backgrounds.

Great Cornard Parish Council own the ground but not the clubhouse and Symes said they would only need to be informed of a change of owners.

The former Braintree Town title-winning manager has said he has been offered a role at the Essex club, who have just been promoted to the Blue Square Bet Conference, if Cornard is sold.

Despite being cut adrift at the bottom of the Ridgeons League First Division this season, Cornard, who lost 4-0 to neighbours Long Melford on Monday, cannot be relegated due to a Football League ruling in place at their level for one season only.