Netplay in talks to buy Football Pools from Sportech

Chelsea v Sunderland Image copyright EPA

The Football Pools could be about to change hands after Netplay TV said it was in talks to buy the business from current owner Sportech.

Reports say the business, which began 92 years ago and was once a major focus for betting, may fetch up to £100m.

Sportech combined the pools brands by buying Littlewoods Gaming in 2000, Zetters in 2002 and Vernons in 2007.

The pools are now played by about 300,000 people, though at their height 10 million players took part.

Players pick up to 12 games that they predict will finish in a draw, with each team scoring at least two goals.

Famous winners include West Yorkshire factory worker Viv Nicholson who scooped £152,319 in 1961, the equivalent of £3.1m today, and vowed to "spend, spend, spend" her winnings.

Trading in Netplay shares on Aim, the stock exchange index for smaller, fast-growing companies, was suspended after it confirmed it was in talks with Sportech.

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