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Millionaire plumber buys top Spanish football club

INTRODUCING "El Fontanero" – Paul ‘The Plumber’ Davidson’s latest reincarnation after buying football club Real Mallorca.

INTRODUCING "El Fontanero" – Paul ‘The Plumber’ Davidson’s latest reincarnation after buying football club Real Mallorca.

His new moniker comes courtesy of fans of the Spanish La Liga team, which cost the colourful Macclesfield inventor more than £50million in a deal sealed on Monday.

And Paul, 53 – who left Silk Town for Mediterranean shores in 2006 – has big plans for a pre-season match against Macclesfield Town FC.

"I might get them over here to play in our stadium – it’s massive, very nice indeed. I was there yesterday to shake hands with the club’s president, Vincent Grande," said El Fontanero (Spanish for The Plumber) yesterday. But really I don’t know much about football, I reached my dizzy heights playing at school in Cheadle. I just thought it would be a great thing to buy – but I can’t tell you how much. Put it this way, I WISH it was £50m."

He says he is "at home" in Mallorca – and plans to see every match at the ONO Estadi, which seats 23,142 spectators.

"I’m very happy. New life. No wife. And now a football club. I absolutely love it here," he said. "And I’ll be sitting with the fans with the team shirt on – if they make them that big – no special box for me."

The father-of-two, who made his name inventing and patenting the Oyster Converter for painting behind household radiators, maintains he is still a supporter of his native club.

"I am still a massive fan of Macc Town," he insisted. "We’re in negotiations for players at the minute, but we won’t be buying any Macc Town players – every time they get a really good player someone nicks them, and I won’t be guilty of that sin."

Paul, who owns a 93 per cent share in the Spanish first division club, beat off competition from ex-Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd as well as an unnamed Russian investor.

He says he had invited Real Mallorca chairman Vicente Grande to remain in his role at the club – which finished seventh last year in Spain’s top tier.

The tycoon, who is now with girlfriend Paula Turner after a divorce from his wife, owns a pad with son James on Macclesfield’s Chester Road, but previously lived in Prestbury. His daughter, Lauren, is a beautician.

He has led a rollercoaster existence over the last few years. After being fined a record £750,000 by the FSA, he was left car-less and living with his parents, Irene and Frank, in Tytherington.

But his fortunes changed after winning a landmark appeal against the financial watchdog, in May 2006, proving he had wrongly been accused of stock market dodgy dealings.

He has recently made £40m through the flotation of his pipe-fitting company, Fluid Leader, on the Plus Market.

The business designs and builds technology to repair leaking oil and water pipes, and Paul has signed a £30m deal with Middle Eastern investors to develop a manufacturing plant in Sharjah.

And more moneymaking schemes could be in the running with his latest acquisition as the club – the Balearic Islands’ oldest – owns large tracts of land in and around Palma, including its old stadium and current training ground.

As usual, the ever-inventive plumber has some exciting deals in the pipeline. "Just you watch, we’re about to launch some great products very soon," he said.


* Mike Rance, chairman of Macclesfield Town FC, said: "Next year we would be more than happy to play Real Mallorca, although it might have to be at the Moss Rose due to limited budgets.

"We might be able to engineer it – but it would be great to play a club owned by a Macclesfield man."

 
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