Eastbourne Borough’s takeover talks with wealthy Kuwaiti investment company collapse

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Eastbourne Borough Football Club’s lengthy takover talks with a wealthy Kuwaiti investment company collapsed last week.

Borough were in detailed negotiations for six months with The Kuwaiti European Holding Company (KEH) but talks collapsed in the final stages after safeguards for the club’s future could not be met.

Eastbourne Borough chairman Len Smith described the offer as ‘extremely good’ and admitted he was frustrated the deal collapsed following months of hard work.

With huge finances available, KEH planned to invest heavily into the club, who today sealed the crucial point required in Hayes and Yeading to retain their Blue Square South Status.

Fans would have seen the Priory Lane stadium revamped and finances were due to be in place to attract new players with the aim of rising through the divisions and into the Football League.

It was thought the buzz created by the investment and new players would have enticed more fans through the turnstiles and boosted attendances at the Lane. Last week Borough attracted just 327 to Priory Lane to watch the 1-1 draw with Boreham Wood.

It is understood a key member of KEH is a huge football fane and studied English in Eastbourne during the 1960’s - he’s believed to have had an affinity for the town ever since.

Chairman Smith said, “It’s hard to say too much due to confidentiality agreements that are in place.

“But an extremely good offer was made and we engaged in very detailed negotiations.

“We were quite hopeful and it looked promising but it came down to the final details.

“The club’s future could not be safeguarded and the deal is now dead.”

Smith also ruled out further talks with KEH in the future.

Smith added, “It’s very frustrating as a huge amount of work went into this.”

KEH have strong connections to Sussex and recently invested £1.5 million to the Ambassador Hotel on the Eastbourne seafront.

They are currently involved in a project to build a giant water park and hotel complex in Newhaven at an estimated cost £350 million which is hoped to create 650 jobs for the area.

However questions on the waterpark are now being raised as Round Table Entertainments and their parent company KEH announced a major overhaul in staff and recently could not provide a timeline for the project.

For more details on this Eastbourne Borough story, see Tuesday’s Gazette and Friday’s Herald