Lopez and Richardson hoping to seal Birmingham takeover ‘within weeks’

19 July 2022 0 By Total Football News

Local businessman Paul Richardson says he and former Barcelona striker Maxi Lopez hope to complete a deal to buy Birmingham within the next three weeks.

The consortium were reportedly competing with former Watford owner Laurence Bassini to purchase the Blues from current owners Birmingham Sport Holdings (BSHL).

They have now been granted exclusivity.

An application has been submitted to the EFL for the prospective new owners to undertake the league's owners' and directors' test, while Lopez and Richardson are at St Andrew's on Tuesday to begin due diligence.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Richardson - who describes himself as a "lifelong Birmingham fan" - said: "We exchanged contracts on Saturday after many months.

''We paid our deposit on Monday and now we're in today to start our work to find out how the club works - our due diligence.

"We'll then wait for EFL approval, which could take a couple, three weeks maybe, and then we go to completion.

"We know exactly what we've got to do. It's a project that's for sure, but for us it's going to be worth it, and for the fans.

"We've got to get some solid foundations in first and then start to build on it, '' he added.

Birmingham's first match of the new season is at Luton on Saturday July 30 and Richardson said it is possible for the takeover to be completed before then - with the caveat that "it's all dependent on the EFL".

Lopez also told Sky Sports: "It's a happy day for us and all the Blues fans.

"It's our money. I was working for this for almost one year.

"I think it's a huge project. There is too much potential in this team.

''When we spoke about this project with Paul, we believed we could do big work in the city, for our fans and for the team," Lopez concluded.

Lopez enjoyed a playing career that took him to five different countries, but he has no experience in English football.

The 38-year-old started out in his native Argentina with River Plate before moving to Barcelona in 2005. He failed to find the net for the Spanish giants and was sent on loan to Real Mallorca before joining now-defunct Russian club FC Moscow.

Lopez then returned to South America with Brazilian club Gremio before settling in Italy in 2010. He spent the rest of his playing days there, turning out for the likes of AC Milan and Sampdoria, before ending his career last year with lower-league side Sambenedettese.

At international level he was capped by Argentina at U17 and U20 level but never progressed to the senior side.

Richardson was an executive at sportswear brand Gymshark and now owns fashion label Hera.

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SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/12654903/birmingham-takeover-maxi-lopez-and-paul-richardson-consortium-hoping-to-complete-deal-within-three-weeks