Huw Jenkins: Former Swansea City chairman in bid for Newport County takeover

Former Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins could be set to return to football as part of a potential takeover at Newport County.

Talks are at an advanced stage with the League Two club in need of a cash injection after losses of £1.2m last year.

Jenkins oversaw Swansea's rise from the bottom division to the Premier League during a 17-year tenure.

He now faces a wait to see if his bid will be put to County supporters.

A second interested party is also proposing an offer for the fan-owned club.

Any deal, which would include the preferred bidder becoming a majority shareholder in return for "significant" investment, would have to be passed in a vote by supporters.

If Jenkins is successful, it would be his first time in a frontline role in four-and-a-half years having won widespread praise for much of his work at Swansea.

The Neath-born businessman stepped down as Swansea chairman in 2019, three years after a controversial sale to a US-based investment group and following relegation from the Premier League in 2018.

Swansea's Supporters Trust had accused Jenkins and other former shareholders of excluding them from negotiations over the sale of the club, although that dispute was settled last year.

Jenkins, 60, had remained a Swansea director up until last month, although was not involved in the running of the club.

He has worked with a sports agency firm and acted as a consultant in recent years, while he was close to a takeover at Charlton Athletic in 2020.

Newport have been seeking potential investors since the start of the summer, after admitting there was "an urgency to secure the financial future for 2023-24 and the longer term."

At a meeting last month, fans were told failure to do that would require the Supporters Trust - who have a 79% share in the club following their 2015 takeover - to raise around £500,000 to fund ongoing losses and pay creditors.

Discussions over a deal with interested parties, including Jenkins, have taken place over the past month.

Newport have been seeking an immediate investment as well as additional finance to come over a prolonged period, with the trust handing over the majority of its stake in the club, although they could retain a shareholding if they are able to offer up further funds.

A second investor group, believed to be based outside the UK, is also in the running to be formally presented to fans, with a decision due to be made on which proposal to take forward.

Details of the preferred bid will be put to supporters at a special general meeting, with 75% of members present required to vote in favour before proposals are handed to the EFL to be ratified.

That meeting is provisionally scheduled for 28 September, with the trust confirming: "The board of directors is in advanced negotiations with the two potential investor groups who are interested in making a significant investment in the club in return for a majority shareholding.

"This is a complex process during which the board is taking advice and guidance from the Football Supporters Association.

"We are on track to be able to present a bidder to trust members within the month of September."

Newport are 13th in League Two after defeat at Crawley Town last Saturday.

They finished 15th in the fourth tier last season, their 10th in a row at that level after 25 years playing non-league football.