DaGrosa Deal For Southampton Could Still Be On - If Asking Price Is Lowered.
Tuesday, 9th Feb 2021 21:31
American Business man Joe DaGrosa was touted to buy Saints late last year, but the deal then went quiet, now comes news that it could still happen, but the asking price has to come down, but could Saints end up in the same situation that Burnley find themselves in.
DaGrosa is formerly the owner of French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux and was linked with a bid for Newcastle United in 2019.
It was widely reported last year that the American had entered into a period of exclusive talks with Gao over a potential sale, but that period came and went without any deal being struck.
Now it seems that the talks have still been ongoing and DaGrosa is using the media to try and force Saints owner Gao's hand and get the asking price lowered.
Gao has been the subject of some abuse on social media, whilst he hasn't been the owner we had all hoped he would become, it has not entirely been is fault with investment into Western Sport being blocked a couple of years ago meaning he was unable to put his plans into place for the club.
It was reported that he was willing to sell for around £210 million for his 80% stake.
Now sports media outlet the Athletic has quoted DaGrosa on the possibility of the deal still happening.
Speaking to The Athletic, DaGrosa said:
"Southampton are a good club but there are many other good clubs in the league.
“COVID-19 has created a very fluid situation with regards to the financial performance of all clubs. We have to take that into consideration as we contemplate transactions – we pride ourselves on being very disciplined investors.
“Southampton’s management team has done an excellent job, during a very challenging period, in getting a successful refinancing done last summer. Having said that, particularly in this environment, sellers need to have a reasonable expectation of value and it has to be consistent with our view.
“We are open to opportunities that make financial sense. As we evaluate clubs, we are of course looking at not only the price that needs to be paid but capital that needs to be invested subsequently for the deal to make sense.”
The report goes on to say DaGrosa could switch his focus instead to fellow Premier League clubs Crystal Palace, Newcastle or West Ham.
Discussing his desire to invest in the Premier League, DaGrosa said:
"The Premier League is the largest and safest league in Europe. It’s the largest because of its broadcast income and that makes it the safest, too.
“We looked into other markets but decided the EPL was the best market for us. It’s easier to be a medium-sized fish in a big pond than a big fish in a medium-sized pond."
This seems to be an attempt by the American to put the pressure on Gao to drop his asking price, of course many Saints fans will be in uproar that Gao should demand £210 million, but in fairness it is not much different to the price he paid for the club 3 years or so ago.
Yes the situation in football is one of financial turmoil at the moment and although the Gao out brigade that has recently emerged seem to think that it is easy to just sell up and move on, the reality is far from that.
Burnley were recently sold to an American concern for a similar price for an 84% in the Lancashire club, but the truth is Saints are a far more substantial package than the Clarets with a larger ground and infrastructure and with a supporter base far far bigger than Burnley who have a far smaller catchment area and one that is filled not only by the Manchester clubs, but a number of other teams such as Blackburn, Bolton & others in an area that is very territorial.
It should also be noted that around Turf Moor the air is still clearing over the £170m US takeover which has used the club’s own money and loaded it with debt.
Call Gao what you want but at least he didn't do that.
So not only should we be very wary of any potential owners, we should also recognise that although we would prefer Gao to sell the club quickly, he will want to at least recoup a major part of his outlay and that although not good for the sale, is fair to Gao who although not investing the £100 million that some think he should have, has done us no wrong, the fact that we are well run as a club through necessity has made us a good prospect.
The financial implications of Covid 19 has also made us a good target for a buyer to try and get us on the cheap, but surely we are worth a lot more than Burnley who have far less assets and when sold were far from certain of being in the Premier League next season.
Although Saints survival is not yet guaranteed, it will take a total collapse to see relegation happen and that being the case, there is a Premium for being able to buy a club who have safety and therefore planning can be made in the short term
So on one hand it is good news that a potential buyer is out there, but it is bad news that it seems they are wanting to haggle about the price, if their intentions are honourable and they have the money to invest then the odd £10 million is a not a lot of money.
Things will all come out, but at this time it does seem that Gao is asking a fair price, yes there is room for manoeuvre as in all deals, but deals are only done when it is good for both parties.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #35 by wessex_exile
As many were predicting, time finally ran out for Steve Ball mid-week, after the U’s lost 2-1 at home to Exeter City. Although a considerable improvement in score-line compared to the 6-1 thrashing they handed out at St James Park earlier in the season, apart from the first 10-15 minutes and very brief glimpses throughout the remainder of the game, it was a poor performance, leaving Robbie Cowling with no choice. After a brief interlude, Robbie named Wayne Brown as our new Interim Head Coach (that’s caretaker as far as I’m concerned), and after an even briefer interlude, Robbie and Wayne in a joint statement put to rest any lingering concerns about Wayne’s attitude to race. If Wayne can show the same sort of leadership on the training ground and in the dressing room as he used to show for the U’s on the pitch, I am certain he’s going to do very well in the job.
Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
I won’t dwell on Robbie’s latest message to the supporters – we’ve all read it, and we’ve all probably drawn our own conclusions about what it doesn’t say as much as what it does. To me, bottom line, I suspect the clock is now ticking for Steve Ball (at least), turn around this terrible form pretty damn quick, or start clearing out your locker. Regardless of personal opinions on any of the individuals concerned, I would like to think none of us actually wants to see people made redundant in the current climate. But, these are difficult times that require tough decisions. If Steve Ball is up to the job and can turn this around, I’ll be more than happy to support him. If he’s not, he has to go before irreparable harm is done…and we all know what that will look like, we’ve been there before…
Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
Today we face a trip to Crawley, not usually a venue that bears fruit for the U’s it has to be said. In nine visits we’ve only won once in the league, and once in the League Cup. Of course, we’ll all remember that League Cup victory, indeed many of us were probably there to see us progress through to 5th round and the dream fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford. All of our goal-scorers that night, Luke’s Norris and Gambin, and Cohen Bramall (okay, technically an O.G.), are no longer with us, so let’s hope at the very least that recent departee and subsequent returnee Frank Nouble can bag another like his late equaliser against Mansfield. Steve Ball commented during the week about how tight the league is at the moment, and he’s right that a couple of back to back victories would see us move significantly up the table away from danger – but we’ve got to win them first Steve – something we’ve failed to do since our 1-0 victory at Scunthorpe on December 8th.
Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
And so the dust settles on another transfer window closing, and despite (my) expectations that the possibility of incoming business was going to be remote, we have instead seen a veritable flurry of activity, with no less than three coming in. Big Frank Nouble, making a very welcome return on loan from Plymouth Argyle, of course needs no introduction. Neither really does feisty Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, here on loan last season, and this time signed full-time from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. Actually paying hard cash for someone did come as a surprise, presumably offset by the sale of Cohen Bramall to Lincoln for a similarly undisclosed fee. However, the fact that the Addicks have insisted on not only a sell-on clause, but a rarely used buy-back clause too, suggests (a) Wiredu’s signing fee probably wasn’t too high, and (b) Charlton are protecting those finances with these clauses. The last one, which would have been a complete surprise for me were it not for a contact leaking me the news earlier yesterday, is left-back Josh Doherty on loan from Crawley. Josh was only announced once outgoing left-back Bramall was confirmed, and presumably his loan is directly related to part-time fashion model, TV and radio celeb and former left-back Mark Wright signing for Crawley on a non-contract game-by-game basis in December. We have also released seven from the academy, Ollie Kensdale, Miquel Scarlett, Sammie McLeod, Michael Fernandes, Ollie Sims, Danny Collinge and Matt Weaire, and I’m sure we all wish them the best for the future.
[ Vote here ]