Saints Rumoured To Be Up For Sale
Sunday, 8th Mar 2020 10:47
According to The Times a broker has been instructed to find a buyer for Southampton FC, but what is the truth behind this. Welcome to St Mary's for yet more turmoil.
The Times is reporting that Gao Jisheng has put his share in the club up for sale, which has led to some Saints fans of accusing him of merely buying the club to get his money out of China.
Whilst that may have an element of truth and is certainly the easy assumption, the fact is that having an owner based in China will always have issues.
Not least China's relationship with the West, a situation that changes almost on a monthly basis, when China fell out with Trump and the USA, suddenly there is an embargo on money from China being invested in the West and that causes problems.
I have been lead to believe that this caused a problem a few months ago with Gao being unable to complete an instalment of his payment to Katharina Liebherr, I was told a few weeks ago that had meant that Gao officially only had 50% of the club shares and had technically defaulted.
I was also told that this issue had been resolved and that there was now money in the club moving forward, what wasn't confirmed was whether that money was Gao's or otherwise.
So is Gao trying to sell his 80% shareholding or having allegedly defaulted and still unable to get his cash out of China is he stepping aside to allow someone else to come in and merely selling that 50% he has supposedly paid for.
Many will see this as a good thing, but that again is a simplistic attitude based solely on the fact that they would like to see a multi billionaire pump in transfer money, if Gao does go he has at least left the club in a healthy position, he hasn't used his ego to buy players we could not afford and saddled us with debt, because money put into clubs is never a gift from the owner it is always a loan, sometimes as Katharina Liebherr did the owner will wipe off that debt, but not as often as you would think.
The main problem will be finding a buyer, the second will be finding one that will be a good custodian, for every good custodian of a football club there are many others who end up dragging the club into trouble both on the pitch and off it financially.
It is better to have a well run club than have an owner seemingly pumping in millions to a club being run badly suddenly pulling out , ask Pompey fans.
So we enter another period of uncertainty, we don't know how much of the club that is being sold or indeed who is selling, are both Kat & Gao willing to sell the 100% they own between them, is it one or the other selling and indeed how much to either currently own has Gao completed the purchase of his 80% share or is it now 50/50 between them both.
There are not queues of potential owners out there, the next few weeks will be interesting, Welcome To St Mary's
Photo: Action Images
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