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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Takeovers

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Chairman Gao has no readies

Southampton fans have contacted me to express their concerns that their new Chinese owner, Chairman Gao, has no money to invest in the club having borrowed large sums to acquire it.   Given that from the perspective of now minority 'partner', Katharina Liebherr, the whole point of the takeover was to provide much needed investment, this has to be a concern.   Instead of going to the next level, the Saints may find it harder to stay at the present one.

Barnsley targeted by Chinese billionaire

The long march of China into English football has been going for some time now, but I have to admit that Barnsley was not on my short list of possible targets.   Howver, it is being reported that they are in advance talks with Chien Lee, the billionaire who is a majority shareholder in Nice and has been seeking an English club.  He made his money with a hotel chain and an investment group.  

Southampton is latest Chinese owned club

Southampton has become the third Premier League club to receive Chinese investment.   Property magnate Jisheng Gao paid £200m (some reports say £210m) for what is believed to be a 80 per cent stake in the club, about the same amount as Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar.   However, it is a decent profit for the Liebherr family who bought the club for £13m in 2009.  It is a reminder that one way of making money out of a football club is through capital appreciation.

Aussie bidder for Charlton identified

The money man behind the Australian consortium interested in taking over Charlton from unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet has been identified by fanzine Voice of the Valley.   He is Andrew Muir who sold his family owned electrical chain for £585m last year.

Chinese buyer interested in United stake

An unknown Chinese buyer has expressed an interest in buying out some of Manchester United's shareholders.  Negotiators claiming to act for a billionaire investor have contacted some of United's independent shareholders in recent weeks over a possible deal to buy a stake in the club.

Koreans interested in Woking

Chankoo Sim, leader of Sportzen, a Seoul-based marketing firm, is one of a number of potential bidders interested in Woking.   The company were the first Koreans to invest in a European football club after acquiring Belgian second division side AFC Tubize in 2014.

Spurs deny takeover talk

Tottenham Hotspur have denied speculation about a takeover of the club.  In a statement on its website the club said, ' The Club engaged Rothschild  to secure the funding for the new stadium. As expected many proposals came forward including bank debt and equity investment. The Club announced on 31 May 2017 the completion of the bank debt financing for the new stadium with a consortium of banks involving Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, Goldman Sachs Bank USA and HSBC Bank plc.

Sunderland takeover talks fail

Talks with a German consortium for the takeover of Sunderland have ended in failure.   The club set a time limit on the talks so that preparations could begin for next season and have now brought in Simon Grayson as manager.

Chinese firm takes Cobblers stake

A Chinese firm 5USport has taken a stake in Northampton Town FC.   The size of the stake has been revealed as 60 per cent. but the chairman of the Cobblers, Kelvin Thomas, insists that it is a partnership rather than a takeover.

It does show that Chinese firms from a variety of backgrounds are prepared to take an interest in football clubs below the Premier League level.

Orient: the long nightmare is over

Francesco Becchetti is no longer in charge at Leyton Orient after a controversial period of ownership which saw the club relegated out of the Football League.

An Eagle Investments consortium led by Baskin Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts chief executive Nigel Travis has taken over.  He is a lifelong fan.   The price paid has not been disclosed.