Reading Weekend POST
Friday 21st Feb 1997
Uri: I want to run a football club
SPOON-BENDING psychic Uri Geller has denied rumours that he is set to buy Exeter City Football Club.
However Uri, who lives in Sonning, says he does want to buy a Second or Third Division club next year.
He has not set his heart on any particular one, he says, and would not want to buy a club that might end up playing his beloved Reading.
Uri told the Reading Evening Post yesterday that the rumours began after he was interviewed in the magazine Total Football.
He said: “They asked me if I would ever buy a football club.”
“My answer was that I cannot afford to buy a Premiership club, but I would look into buying a Second or Third Division club.”
Pundits put two and two together, he said, because he’d been seen at an Exeter game with his 16-year-old son Daniel, who is a fan.
He added: “The rumour is not true.”
However, he admitted he had sent a group of half a dozen scouts out to watch Third Division teams play and was assessing their reports. Exeter was one of them, he confirmed.
He said: “I think it is possible that I might be able to buy one, but only at the beginning of next year.”
“To own a club I would have to drop at least 60 or 70 per cent of the other things I do. I’ll never give up my magazine Encounters, but I’ll give up lectures and performances around the world because I think a chairman should be there at the games.”
He said he’d never be able to buy Reading Football Club, and he added he’d have trouble if he bought a team which progressed from the Third Division through to Division One.
He said: “Then I would have a spiritual conflict. I would have to wish for a draw!”
Express & Echo
Covering EXETER & City Districts
20th Feb. 1997
Geller may buy City FC
INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed psychic Uri Geller could be ready to make a bid for control of struggling Exeter City.
The spoon-bending star, whose teenage son Daniel is a Grecians fan, has confirmed he is keen to launch a takeover bid for a Divislon 3 club.
Geller admits that he could target Exeter once current television commitments are completed.
And St James’s Park chairman Ivor Doble hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Berkshirebased Geller joining the six-man City board.
“I want to buy a football club,” said Geller. “Ideally l’d buy a Premiership team but I don’t have the millions that it would take.”
“I’m looking at three or four clubs in the Third or Second Division. Obviously Exeter is one possibility.”
“I haven’t examined Exeter’s financial position, Which would have to be done before l took my interest any further. But I truly believe that Exeter City can be a really good club.”
Doble, who holds a 51 per cent majority stake In the Grecians, won’t discuss the speculation.
“Uri is a very good friend of mine,” he said. “That’s all I’m saying.”
Geller, a long-standing supporter of Division 1 Reading, Insists he would be reluctant to become involved until he could give a firm commitment to the job.
Geller, who was at St James’s Park for a pre-season friendly against Chelsea, correctly forecast that City would overturn a half-time deficit to record a 2-1 win against Ruud Gullit’s outfit.
And he is credited with helping Peter Fox’s men to a similar turnaround to beat highflying Carlisle last October, through the “power of positive thought.”
Geller today said it was a mystery how his 16-year-old son, Daniel, came to be an Exeter fan. His famous father said: “Perhaps in a past life he lived there. You don’t suddenly start clinging on to a team which you have no connection with. He is pushing me to take a stake in Exeter.”
- Uri’s son is a mad keen Exeter City fan who is pressing his dad to buy into the Grecians.
- Schoolboy Daniel, 16, spends hours trawling the Internet examining the club’s web-site and passing E-mail to fellow diehards.
- Uri discovered his amazing spoon bending talents at the age of four while eating a bowl of mushroom soup.
- He grew up in Israel and was accustomed to having strange psychic powers, including bizarre encounters with bright lights and electricity.
- Some of his most famous tricks have included bending spoons, restarting watches, and stopping a cable car in Germany.
LEADING Exeter City supporters today gave a guarded welcome to world-famous spoon bender Uri Geller’s potential arrival onto the club’s board of directors.
Fans welcome Uri
Grecians Supporters Club chairman Dave Bennett said: “Any new blood has got to be good for the club – providing there’s an injection of money which the club so desperately needs.
“It appears that Mr Geller is a City fan, which has got to be good. I am quite happy about the idea.”
Former supporters club chairman Gary Nelson also welcomed Mr Geller’s possible arrival onto the City FC board.
“Perhaps this is what we have been looking for,” he said. “It’s got to be good if he’s going to put some serious money in. All we need is a kickstart. It can’t be bad news.”
Good Time Coming fanzine editor Alan Crockford insisted: “Anybody who brings fresh capital to the club is to be welcomed.”
“But I’m not after people just pumping money into the club. All directors’ input are loans and, as Bournemouth have found out, that’s not the solution.”
“I would prefer to see a supporters club representative on the board who the club could be accountable to,” he said.
URI GELLER to buy Exeter City. The very idea is sure to prompt ridicule in many quarters.
Can Geller do the trick?
But is it really so outrageous? Celebrity spoonbender Geller would hardly be the first flamboyant figure to take control of a football club.
There was entertainer Elton John at Watford,TV pundit Jimmy Hill is the chairman at Fulham and softporn tycoon David Sullivan owns Birmingham City. The late Eric Morecambe was a director of Luton Town and recently celebrity cook Delia Smith became a director of her favourite club, Norwich City.
The fact is that football has become another arm of the showbusiness world. It attracts the rich and famous keen to inject their flair and hard cash into a local club.
Geller’s interest must, therefore, be regarded with utter seriousness. He is a wealthy and successful personality who is apparently genuinely keen to assist a lower division club.
If nothing else, Geller’s involvement would guarantee City free publicity worth thousands of pounds and give the club the glamour it so obviously lacks.
The initial reaction from fans has been positive. If Geller can offer cash to strengthen a struggling team, they really will be over the spoon!
23rd March 1997
By Graham Nickless
Now spoon-bender Uri wants to buy his own club
SPOON-bender Uri Geller wants to buy his own football club next season.
Sports Mirror can reveal that Geller, a staunch fan of Division One side Reading, has already started looking for a lower division team to get his magic hands on.
Business associates have made a dossier on a number of Nationwide League clubs but the multi-millionaire insisted last night: “This won’t happen until next year.”
“I want to own my own club and I have built up a lot of data on a number of teams in the lower divisions. This is not a business move for me, but one from the heart.”
Geller famous for his hit TV show Beyond Belief burst onto our TV screens in the early 70s when he startled viewers by bending spoons and making their broken clocks tick again. His talents were recently given a royal seal of approval when the Duchess of York visited his luxurious Berkshire home for secret psychic sessions.
He is also involved in some very serious work. He claims his powers were used by America to make the Soviets sign a nuclear treaty. and he has been invited to New York to help try to discover the truth behind the tragic TWA800 air-crash.
Geller has worked with some of the world’s top sports stars. During Euro 96 he even offered England some supernatural assistance by planting crystals in the Wembley turf.
But now he wants to put his powers to the ultimate test. And he’s prepared to sacrifice millions to help spirit one lucky little club to glory.
Geller added: This challenge would test my powers once and for all. I would use them to help my club go on to win the FA Cup, Coca-Cola Cup or even the Premiership.
“The one stumbling block would be that I’d have to give up 70 per cent of my activities overseas which would cost me millions. If I was running a football team here I could not afford to be away from them at any time.”
Geller’s love of football started in the 60s, when he says he helped a Cypriot club win a title. Now he cheers Reading alongside his son Daniel and brother-in-law Shipi.
For good fortune Geller tries to bury a lucky crystal by the pitch before every game.
I saw Geller’s work at first hand when Reading played at QPR. He couldn’t get to the pitch to bury his crystal so clutched it in one hand for the whole 90 minutes.
In fact, Geller was so deep in concentration that he missed Trevor Morley’s second-minute goal.
Reading pulled off only their second away win of the season thanks to a spectacular Danny Maddix own goal.
Geller told me: “I still mourn the day Reading lost 4-3 to Bolton in the play-off final two years ago. I had walked 46 miles to Wembley for charity with Daniel and my daughter Natalie, and I still have the blisters.”
“Had Stuart Lovell not missed a penalty when we were 2-0 up we’d now be eighth or ninth in the Premiership. It is a gut feeling I have – we wouldn’t have gone straight back down.”
Geller, 50, writes a regular column for Match of the Day magazine. He has some stunning stories. many of which can be found in his own monthly magazine Uri Geller’s Encounters.
Some famous clients will never be discussed. But he did talk about Fergie: ‘She has come to my home many times we are good friends. She wanted help with her personal relationship and her financial problems.
“And look! She has moved back in with Prince Andrew and is now earning good money. She has navigated her way through all the flak. She is a great girl.”
Helping Fergie was far easier than dealing with the struggling Royals of Elm Park. Geller suffers like any fan when Reading lose -and that’s happened many times this season.
He said: “I try to speak to the players before and after games. I especially like to speak with the strikers to help them concentrate on the next goal.
“Trevor Morley is such a brave player. He has scored 22 this season and his head is full of metal plates.”
“Trevor is a great guy – but he has warned me not to try and bend his metal.”
“When I buy a new club it will be a big problem for me because my true feelings are with Reading.”
“I might try to buy into Reading – but my son is a great Exeter fan so you never know what might happen!”
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