Saints To Sue LD Sports
Thursday, 3rd Sep 2020 14:12
Saints CEO Martin Semmens has spoken to the media about the issues surrounding the LD Sports sponsorship issue, claiming that Saints owner Gao Jisheng is not involved with that company and that legal action is already underway.
Speaking to on line media outlet The Athletic Semmens said.
"It's important for our fans to know that we will pursue them to the end of the earth until we get our money, but for this season, it was important that we found the right sponsor so we can move forward,"
"Legal action is not being considered. It's already taken. It's something we have to do. They have a contract with us."
"We have commitments, they have commitments, and everybody else around us has followed through on their commitments. We expected them to do the same.
"It became very evident that [finding a solution] will take months and we don't have months. We start playing in September. We will continue pursuing them and finding a solution that will help our club out but we feel that will take months and not weeks."
The fact that the deal has turned sour is no surprise to some Saints supporters who were critical of sponsorship from a company who did not seem to exist and many thought that LD Sports was merely another front for Gao to get his money out of China and into the club.
Semmens admitted that in hindsight the supporters were right to be sceptical but was quick to claim that Gao has no part in the company.
"I think they have [been proven right] in terms of how [LD Sports] behaved and how they’ve supported us as a partner," Semmens added.
"They are not connected to Mr Gao or the ownership in any way. I totally understand why someone would think that because it looks like that on paper but they are not connected. The only connection is that they are based in the same country. We chose that sponsor because we want to develop into that market."
"The fans have been proven right and that's because LD Sports turned out to not be a very good partner for us following the pandemic.
"As I said, you have to have empathy for businesses at this time but we don't have empathy for the lack of communication and conversations regarding the contract."
In fairness to the club they were not to know that this deal would prove to turn sour 15 months ago when it was announced, back then the relationships between China and the West particularly the USA & UK were cordial and now one would know that there would be a pandemic.
But some would still be sceptical about Gao's hand in it, after all why would a company that did not appear to exist pump £7.5 million into Saints last year, when it would seemingly get no benefit.
Rumours still persist about a proposed takeover being imminent and if Gao was selling up and indeed was part of LD sports then why would he want to still pay £7.5 million into the club for essentially nothing.
I think this story has a little way to run yet, but I would say now that Martin Semmens and those in charge of the club are not to blame for signing the deal with LD Sports it was the best on the table at the time and as I have said there was no inkling of the turn World Events would take, indeed it is to their credit they have managed to get a grip of the situation fast and brought in a new sponsor so that we could get the first two signings over the line.
Photo: Action Images
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