AN INDIAN entrepreneur has confirmed he has ‘serious interest’ in buying Blackburn Rovers.

Mumbai businessman Saurin Shah has submitted an official offer to purchase the club, believed to be in the region of £25million.

His uncle, who is deputy chairman of cricket's lucrative Indian Premier League, said if the bid was successful, significant funds would be made available to strengthen Sam Allardyce’s squad.

Mr Shah and his backers have targeted Rovers partly because of the area's large Asian community, which they believe has untapped potential for football.

Last night Rovers were keeping tight-lipped about the offer.

However, it is understood a number of other parties are also interested in the club.

No group is thought to have been granted exclusivity.

It is also unclear just how wealthy Mr Shah is, although he is known to have shipping interests.

Sources close to his Qubic Sports Investment vehicle claim the purchase of Rovers would spark huge interest in the Premier League in India.

They have warned that it is too early to speculate on the bid's chances of success but said it was possible a takeover could be completed before the start of next season.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands investment bankers Rothschilds, charged with selling Rovers on behalf of the Walker Trust, yesterday received a faxed formal offer.

But suggestions that the bid has already reached due diligence - when the accounts are opened up to be checked - are premature.

Mr Shah, 35, yesterday confirmed to the Lancashire Telegraph his interest was serious and, while unwilling to disclose many details, insisted he meant business.

He said: “Yes, I can confirm I am interested.

"It is an exciting prospect but I can’t say too much at the moment.

"We do not enter things to lose, we enter things to win. That is all I can say.

“We are serious. We are in negotiations and the interest is natural because of the amount of Indians and Pakistani people in Lancashire.”

Mr Shah is described by sources in Mumbai as ‘a little-known businessman’.

But his uncle Niranjan, deputy chairman of cricket’s Indian Premier League, is a well-known figure in the country.

The IPL chief said details of exactly who would be part of the buying group were still to be finalised, with his own role unclear.

But he insisted there was a determination to make it a success.

Niranjan Shah, said: “It is serious interest but we know we will have to work very hard to make it happen and Saurin and his group have been doing that for a while now.

“I think there is a 25 per cent Asian population and we want to explore the opportunities there.

"I hope some Indian people in Blackburn, and other Blackburn fans, are excited about it but let us not get carried away just yet.

“Interest in the Premier League in India will pick up, I have no doubt.

"We hope to make Blackburn the first team out there. We see potential there.

"People in India are already excited about it.

“At the moment there has been no final commitment from either party but we will wait and see.

“We know we would have to come up with some money.

"I don’t want to go into the details but we know it would cost to buy the club and we would hope to strengthen the squad a lot if it was to happen.

"We do have money for the club."

It could take six weeks for any deal to go through, he said.

"Hopefully no longer,” he added.

Football agent Chris Nathaniel, who played a part in Robinho’s move away from Manchester City, is fronting the bid for the Indians, but was unavailable for comment.

Blackburn Rovers chairman John Williams said he was unable to comment on the situation, except to reiterate there was 'real interest' in the club.

Meanwhile the news has attracted a mixed response from Blackburn Rovers supporters.

Gary Crowcroft, from supporters' group North Lancs Rovers, said: "I am not at all excited by this because we have been here before with people promising investment.

"The key thing is that the club has been really well run in the past 10 years and we are in a good position.

"So there is absolutely no panic to sell up to investors we know nothing about."

Salim Mulla, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said the potential takeover could be a good thing for the Asian community.

He said: "I think having an Asian owner would have a positive impact in getting more people from the Asian community into Ewood Park."

"I think any talk of investment into the club, wherever it may come from, has to be welcomed."