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FOOTBALL TYCOON'S PS2.5m HOME WIN; QPR owner Fernandes snaps up luxury Scots pile at bargain price.

Byline: STEPHEN HOUSTON reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk

THE multi-millionaire jet-setting owner of a top English football club and a Formula 1 team has bought a Scottish stately home.

Flamboyant Tony Fernandes could bring a trail of international celebrity guests to secluded Skeldon House, in Ayrshire.

The 49-year-old dad of two owns English Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers and the Caterham F1 team and hosts The Apprentice in Asia.

Fernandes also owns the AirAsia airline and a hotel chain and has billionaire associates including F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Sir Richard Branson.

The Malaysian-born accountant has now acquired Skeldon, near Dalrymple, after agreeing a deal with long-term owner Stanley Brodie QC.

He confirmed: "I have sold the house to quite a distinguished gentleman called Mr Tony Fernandes.

"He owns Queens Park Rangers Football Club and is the founder and owner of Air Asia, the biggest no-frills airline in the Far East.

"He seems a very acceptable fellow."

Fernandes has a net worth of around PS400million. It is thought he paid PS2.5million for the house and 140 acres of parkland.

Skeldon had languished on the market since the B-listed Georgian pile was first offered for sale along with two farms and a lodge for PS6.95million in 2008.

Brodie said he plans to stay on in the lodge at Balgreen.

Nine years ago, he split from his wife, the judge Dame Elizabeth Gloster, after she left him for another man. He said: "It really didn't make any sense for a single octogenarian to be living in a large house all on his own with magnificent gardens that only I ever saw.

"We were there for 27 years and now my children have flown the nest and I no longer have a wife and I am 83 years old.

"Time moves on and the time came to sell the house on to someone who can afford to keep it and look after it well, which I am sure Mr Fernandes will do."

The Weir engineering family were owners of Skeldon before Brodie.

The house was built in 1760 for General Fullarton before passing to the Duke of Portland in 1867. It boasts 1.8 miles of double-bank salmon fishing, a pheasant shoot, fine gardens with tennis court and a courtyard featuring gardener's and chauffeur's cottages.

Fernandes will certainly enjoy privacy at Skeldon, which is described as "truly magical" by the Ayr office of estate agents CKD Galbraith.

I have sold the house to quite a distinguished gentleman STANLEY BRODIE

CAPTION(S):

ACCEPTABLE Accountant Fernandes meets with the seller's approval

MANSION Skeldon House in Ayrshire
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 26, 2013
Words:432
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