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Ralph Reveals That Takeover Talks For Southampton Are Ongoing
Friday, 3rd Dec 2021 13:35

Ralph Hasenhuttl has let slip that there seem to be ongoing takeover talks between Southampton Football Club and unamed potential investors to buy Gao's 80% share in the club.

I have been aware for some time that there has been potential interest in buying the club, although I cannot give any sort of indication of who these people are or where they are from.

My understanding has been that talks are ongoing but in recent weeks things have moved up to another level.

It is no secret that Gao wants to sell his share, he has his critics but the situation that we and indeed he finds himself in is not of his own doing, but due to the Chinese Government who when he bought the club were encouraging investment from China in Western sport such as athletics and football reversed that policy after falling out with the USA.

Gao has had offers to sell the club, but he has turned them down and refused to sell unless he thought the deal was right for Saints, those that have vilified him for not putting money in have also incorrectly claimed he was only in it for profit, given he hasn't managed to sell the club in the last couple of years that is clearly not the case as shown by not taking money out when it has been available, back in the summer for example when Danny Ings was sold, it would have been easy for him to pocket the money.

Gao might not have been the owner that we hoped he would be, but despite what some would rant on social media he has done us no wrong.

Ralph Hasenhuttl intriguingly when quizzed on any potential takeover had this to say.

"Yes, nearly every day I get information from Martin [Semmens]. We speak about this a lot.

"All I can say is that as soon as there is news they will tell you, everyone will know about it. There is nothing new right now but as soon as there is the club will put it out."

The fact that Hasenhuttl can speak openly about the situation and teasingly point to the fact that there may be something happening soon is a positive sign that there could be new owners, hopefully they will have the club's interest at heart, ask Burnley fans what they think of their new owners.

Photo: Action Images

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HythePeer added 15:10 - Dec 3
Sounds like they're asking too much and no-one is interested?

saintmark1976 added 18:35 - Dec 3
“ Goa has had offers to sell the club, but he has turned them down and refused to sell unless he thought the deal was right for Saints “. Maybe his interests are perhaps somewhat closer to home, but then again it’s possible that I’m just a cynic Nick.

dirk_doone added 23:49 - Dec 3
Gao is desperate to sell as he needs the money to pay back the loan he took out to pay Kat. The problem is Kat and her 20%. She'll be holding out for more than prospective buyers are prepared to pay.

Crispinmumbles added 00:05 - Dec 4
Why was he initially deemed to be a fit and proper person to run the club? Is it because he was named as being complicit in various corruption cases in China, only escaping punishment by turning state evidence? This is well documented. He's 'alleged' to be a crook and I'm being generous there. He has damaged the reputation of the club in an effort to get money out of China which has backfired spectacularly.
Even so, an ex-policeman who has somehow allegedly accumulated a fortune of £!.7bn - not your average coppers pension - realises that a relegated club would not allow him to claw back the money to repay the bank loans he took out to buy the 80% shareholding - and preferably a little more. That is why some - not all - the Ings money was reinvested in a bid to keep us up. The club reduced it's wage bill significantly by shifting Bertrand, Ings, Hoedt and Vestergaard which meant some signings were possible - tha's ignoring the transfer fees the other players brought in.
Don't defend Gao, not even the Chinese state legislature would do that!

SanMarco added 00:06 - Dec 4
A sale is only good if we get someone better than Gao. Just because Gao is not great it doesn't mean that new people would automatically be better.

Crispinmumbles added 00:07 - Dec 4
* I meant of course why was he NOT deemed a fit and proper person.

Saintpaul120 added 02:01 - Dec 4
Interesting reading - I've often wondered why Kat hasn't bought Gao out, Afterall, she can afford it, "has the best interests of the club at heart" and already owns 20%!!

saintsfanbrock added 09:09 - Dec 4
“I have been aware for some time that there has been potential interest in buying the club”. If that’s the case Nick, why didn’t you already say? Seeing as you have given no details I can’t see how you saying the same thing two weeks ago would have made much difference. Always interesting that you know about things for weeks but only share after they get released generally in the media, some might suspect you inflate your knowledge. Funny that the inner staff of Southampton choose to tell you these things before the actual media….

SaintPaulVW added 12:02 - Dec 4
It's like catch 22 with owners really, anyone who could afford to be an owner, you almost certainly wouldn't want as an owner.

I would rather have some bloke who leaves it all to run itself. Had we not had £80 million of failed recruitment sat on other team's benches for the last 3-4 years then I think we would be in a far better place now regardless of who owned us.

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