Villa, Foxes go public

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 March, 1997, 12:00am

ASTON Villa and Leicester are the latest English clubs to announce plans to float shares on the stock market.

Villa shareholders approved plans for a flotation - expected to take place within a few weeks - which they expect will raise about GBP25 million.

Some of the money will fund the continued redevelopment of Villa Park, and another portion will be spent on new players.

Leicester, meanwhile, outlined plans to go public soon. Club directors expect the backing of their 150 shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting next month for a planned flotation in mid-June. Leicester is estimated to have a value of GBP40 million.

The club has been forced in the past to sell players like Gary Lineker and Alan Smith, but chairman Tom Smeaton said the planned flotation will help Leicester keep star striker Emile Heskey and other key players.

'This is one of the reasons we are trying to boost our finances, so we are not forced to sell and we can concentrate on buying,' he said.