Sky Sports Claim Saints Sale Talks Held Up By Corona Virus
Saturday, 2nd May 2020 10:53
Sky Sports have this morning claimed that talks regarding the sale of Southampton Football Club to an American company has been held up by the Corona Virus pandemic.
Sky had this to say this morning.
"An American-based company has held talks to buy Gao Jisheng's majority share of Southampton, but the coronavirus pandemic has held up discussions.
The group has shown interest in purchasing the Chinese businessman's 80 per cent controlling stake, which he put up for sale earlier this year.
They have been described to Sky Sports News as the only serious player in a potential takeover, following interest from more than two parties."
"However, it is understood those talks have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and a deal is not close to being agreed.
Previous owner Katharina Liebherr, who sits on the board and retains a 20 per cent stake, is said to have been actively involved in discussions."
The Swiss national sold her controlling stake in the Saints to Jisheng in 2017 for a reported sum of £210m, having inherited the club from her father Markus in 2010.
Jisheng now values this share at £250m, according to reports.
Last June, he told the Financial Times that there were "no problems" with his financial situation, amid reports his Lander Sports Group had suffered losses.
"I am not treating Southampton as a pig to be fattened and sold," he said. "I am treating it as a child.
"But my children must believe they cannot depend on the boss. I have said to Southampton: 'I am now your father. But I am putting you on the right track - you need to feed yourself'."
This will be good news to some Saints supporters who believe that Gao is the devil incarnate, but that is unfair in reality his only crime has been to not pump multi millions into the club as some think all owners should do.
What he has done though is stabilise the club after a period where we appeared to lose our way in transfer dealings etc, whether these rumours have any substance or ever happen is something that we will find out going forward, but if Gao does sell and we are in the Premier League then he has done us no harm at all.
He took over at a difficult time when Claude Puel had been sacked for a season we would sell our right arms for now and with Les Reed as director of football we appointed Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes neither of which was right for the club.
Katharina Liebherr is stated as being involved and that is good, she may not have the appetite for spending money on the club but she seems determined to protect her Father's legacy.
Photo: Action Images
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