Barcelona star Gerard Pique ‘failed with shock bid’ to buy Notts County this summer with visions to turn them into England’s answer to ‘La Masia’
- Pique’s Kosmos group were interested in buying the National League club
- The Barcelona centre-back was attracted by Notts County’s rich historic value
- Talks between County’s former owner Alan Hardy and Kosmos took place
- Hardy accepted an earlier offer due to a High Court date over an unpaid tax bill
Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique sensationally swooped to buy Notts County in the summer but failed in a last-minute bid.
Pique, in association with his Kosmos Global Holding group, was in talks with former owner Alan Hardy about buying the club in July and were said to be attracted by County’s prestige and value, according to The Athletic.
The 32-year-old was keen to turn the youth system into a hotbed of homegrown talent, but Danish brothers Alexander and Christoffer Reedtz bought the club instead on July 26, such was the necessity of a quick deal with a High Court date over an unpaid tax bill looming
Notts County’s Meadow Lane has a capacity of 19,841 – the biggest in the National League
Gerard’s Pique Kosmos group will plunge $3billion into reforming the Davis Cup over 25 years
Trophies: FA Cup (1984), Second Division (1896-97, 1913-14, 1922-23), Fourth Division (1970-71, 1997-98, 2009-10)
League: National League
Manager: Neal Ardley
Kosmos have already invested large sums into sport, last year signing a 25-year-deal with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to revamp the body’s flagship men’s team event, the Davis Cup.
Investors in the company include Barcelona captain and Pique’s team-mate Lionel Messi, as well as American billionaire Larry Ellison.
Pique, who faces a possible sanction for allegedly deliberately being yellow carded last week, has made it no secret of his interests outside playing football and launched Kosmos with Hiroshi Mikitaini, the founder of Barclona’s sponsors Rakuten.
It is not the first time a large company has been associated with buying Notts County, Britain’s oldest football club, established in 1862.
In 2009, Middle East consortium Munto Finance took over the club, appointing former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as head coach and signing ex-Arsenal defender Sol Campbell.
The World Cup winner is in his 12th season at Barcelona after joining from Man United in 2008
Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson was appointed director of football in 2009
However, after initial ambitions to climb up the leagues, the ownership structure was questioned by the Football League and just five months after taking over, Munto Finance sold the club to Peter Trembling, who then sold it onto Ray Trew.
Campbell played just one game before moving on, and Eriksson resigned in February 2010, waving a multi-million pound pay-off.
Notts County were relegated from League Two last season, and are currently seventh in the National League.