ACCRINGTON Stanley shareholder Ilyas Khan is calling on all people connected with the club to hold a meeting to sort out its future.
As the Observer exclusively revealed last week, chairman Eric Whalley, who has owned the club since 1995, has agreed to sell some of his 56 per cent of the shares and relinquish his position as chairman.
Businessman Dave O’Neill is the potential buyer and was hoping to be the owner of the Reds by the time the Observer went to press.
But in a dramatic intervention multi-millionaire Khan, who has a 15 per cent stake in the club, said he wants a say in its future and hopes the shareholders, Hyndburn Council and the fans can all meet together and thrash out a deal in the best interests of the club.
"I am coming to Accrington and I am going to write to everyone and ask for a meeting," said Hong Kong-based Khan who made an abortive bid to buy the club exactly 10 years ago this week.
Warning against borrowing to pay off current debts, he said: "I do support Dave O’Neill’s bid but if he hasn’t got the money to do it then I think we all need to get together, pay off the debt, get everything out in the open and look to the future of the club.
"We don’t want to go into next season with a 10-point deduction and this isn’t about individuals. Accrington Stanley Football Club is the only thing that matters.
"I have put hundreds of thousands of pounds into the club over the last 14 years and I have never expected anything in return. The main thing is that the debts are paid off and the club continues to progress."
But 52-year-old O’Neill was hoping his six-figure bid to buy the club will go through soon.
O’Neill, a millionaire on paper who owns Prestige Body Repairs in Earby and has several properties, said: "As far as I am concerned, the deal is done with Eric and I am confident it will go through.
"Everything is in place and the agreement is ready to sign. The criteria were set many weeks ago and we have got to the conclusion of it so all that is left is for both of us to sign the deal.
"I have no problem meeting the demands and want the deal to be done as quickly as possible. I would like it to be done this week or at the latest before the Chester game next week."
O’Neill got involved with the Reds four years ago, filming the games. Since then he has become general manager and is a regular face around the Fraser Eagle Stadium.
He said: "When I first came I was just a cameraman and had no intention of ever owning a club.
"But I have got involved and I know how the club works and how I can improve it.
"I have a lot of plans for the club, a lot of ideas in the pipeline and a lot of potential businessmen ready to come in and join forces with me.
"I think the club is looking for a new challenge and it is exciting. We need a new direction. We don’t just want to survive in the Football League.
"I want it to be self-financing. We have various innovative commercial ideas lined up but I can’t reveal too much about it until the deal is complete."
Whalley said: "I expect Dave to take over in the next couple of weeks and I will probably step down as chairman at the end of the season. If it is not done, then I will be seeking new investors."
Stanley manager John Coleman said the takeover talks were not affecting his preparations for next season.
He said: "You have just got to get on with it and until something changes, I will keep doing that."