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Notts County FC – widely recognised as the oldest professional football club in the world – has been acquired by local businessman Alan Hardy.

The founder and chief executive of interiors firm Paragon will take over after agreeing a deal with current owner Ray Trew.

The League Two football club had been due in court today (19 December) to face a winding up petition for outstanding debt.

Hardy, however, confirmed that he would be settling that debt.

He added: “There is still a considerable amount of work to be undertaken in the coming days and together with my team, we will be working around the clock to conclude our agreement and make a more formal announcement in the near future.

“I wish to emphasise my passion, desire and commitment to all Notts County supporters to drive this club forward.”

Trew took over the club in 2010 when it was on the brink of administration, and he admitted that finding a successor was “one of my hardest tasks”.

“I feel that in Alan Hardy the Notts County fans will have found someone who they can get behind and believe in to usher in a new era that I hope will bring success and happiness for all involved,” he said.

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Notts County FC – widely recognised as the oldest football club in the world – has been acquired by local businessman Alan Hardy.
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