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Cheltenham Town: We turned down Jed McCrory takeover bid - Paul Baker

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker

Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker

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A CONSORTIUM fronted by Jed McCrory made an approach to take over Cheltenham Town, chairman Paul Baker has revealed.

Banbury United owner McCrory and a group of investors are currently in the process of buying League One Swindon Town.

They are set to buy around 75 per cent of the shareholding in the County Ground club from Andrew Black.

Speaking in an exclusive live web chat with the Echo yesterday, Baker said the fact the proposed investment would have made McCrory's consortium majority stakeholders at Whaddon Road led to the club declining their advances.

"We did have an approach from the consortium who are now at Swindon, but we weren't convinced and you have to be very careful," Baker said.

"You have to be very thorough with your due diligence and the fact they want to become the controlling stake holders was a problem."

McCrory assumed control of Southern League side Banbury six months ago.

He is believed to still be waiting for special dispensation from the relevant authorities which would enable him to hold positions at both Swindon and Banbury until the end of the season. A meeting between the incoming board of last season's League Two champions and the Football League is due to take place this week to sign off the sale of the club.

In the meantime Swindon, managed by Paolo Di Canio, are currently not able to sign players, which prevented Cheltenham midfielder Marlon Pack joining the club on January 31.

Robins supremo Baker has overseen Cheltenham's progression from non-League football to becoming an established Football League club in his 15-year reign.

Refreshed and enthused by recent progress, Baker confirmed he will remain chairman beyond the end of this season, having considered his position last year.

"I am staying on because I enjoy it and it's a big part of my life," Baker said. "It's less of a strain on me now in terms of time and money and the board is very strong and supportive and we all get on well, so there is no reason to go.

"I am lucky that my health is also good, I have a great relationship with Mark Yates and I am here for as long as people want me."

Baker said his aim is to leave the club financially solvent and in League One, with a new stand to replace the 1960s structure on the car park side of the Abbey Business Stadium.

He does believe members of the current board would be excellent candidates to succeed him in the top job.

"There are probably two or three people on the current board who would make very good chairmen," he said.

"When I was considering my position, I was relaxed about passing the mantle on because we have some great people on the board."

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