July 20, 2007 / 4:58 PM / 12 years ago

Soccer-Blades explore Ferencvaros Hungarian link-up

SHEFFIELD, England, July 20 (Reuters) - Officials from English second division club Sheffield United have confirmed they have had preliminary talks with Ferencvaros about a proposed link-up with the Hungarian club.

“Initial talks have taken place but it’s in the very early stages,” a Sheffield United spokesman said on Friday.

“It should be stressed that they contacted us rather than the other way round.”

Ferencvaros, who are struggling with debts of more than $11 million, are looking for a buyer.

Budapest municipal authorities have given the go-ahead for a major development site to be included in the sale and that has attracted the interest of Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe whose Scarborough Property Group has offices in Budapest.

McCabe has said that if any offer were successful, personnel from Sheffield United would be seconded to Ferencvaros to manage the football operations.

McCabe also said he wanted to see talent from Hungary join Sheffield United.

A link-up with Ferencvaros would further expand Sheffield United’s developing world-wide network.

The club became the first foreign owners of a Chinese football club when they bought a controlling stake in Chengdu FC in January 2006. The club was re-named Chengdu Blades.

Sheffield United also formed a partnership with Royal White Star Woluwe FC of Belgium earlier this year when McCabe, a resident of Brussels, spotted the potential of the club.

The Yorkshire club recently failed with a legal challenge against the English Premier League after being relegated in controversial circumstances.

Club officials argued that fellow-strugglers West Ham should have been docked points after breaching Premier League regulations by including third-party agreements when they signed Argentines Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in 2006.

An arbitration panel ruled in the Premier League’s favour, however, dismissing calls for a new disciplinary commission and confirming Sheffield United’s relegation.

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