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Who Is The Man Behind Southampton FC Takeover And What Is he Worth !
Tuesday, 4th Jan 2022 14:06

The name Dragan Solvak was unknown not just to followers of Southampton Football Club but also to most people in the UK, so who is he and how much is he worth is the question on most Saints fans lips at this moment in time.

Solvak who we have already revealed made his fortune with Serbian media company United Group was born in 1964, founding the company in the year 2000.

In the space of 8 years it grew from a small localised company into the biggest in it's field in Serbia.

He is said to be massive golf fan and also founded Eligo, a company who promise access to exclusive golf courses worldwide and whose headquarters are in the UK meaning he already has connections in the country.

It is unclear just what his net worth is although sources in Serbia claim that his net assets are in excess of £1 billion, although that could include property and other assets that are not liquid.

Serbian publication Kurir claims he stays out of the public eye and his accumulated wealth is "colossal by Serbian standards" and that he is the country's first home-grown Euro billionaire.

They claim he has a share of ownership in over 100 firms and owns a luxurious house overlooking Lake Geneva worth tens of millions of Euros as well as three private jets.

So this suggests that he is wealthy, but by Premier League standards he is not that rich, indeed Gao Jisheng is said to be worth £4 billion, although getting that out of China has been the problem, not Gao's willingness to spend it.

Fashid Moshiri who bought Everton is worth around three times Solvak and his wealth is dwarfed by the likes of Stan Kroenke at Arsenal at nearly £10 billion, Abramovich at Chelsea at nearly £15 billion and the big hitters at Manchester City whose Abu Dabi group are said to be worth £20 billion and of course Newcastle United's Saudia Arabian Sovereign Fun said to be £430 billion.

So in truth it doesn't look like there will be a big cultural change should the takeover go through, at least not immediately, it will be all about evolving the club rather than instant success being demanded.

But as Sport Republic are a relatively new company and Saints would be their first acquisition, it is fair to say that more investment into that company could be forthcoming and that money could be available to Saints going forward.

As it stands though we should be cautiously optimistic, Rasmus Ankersen who will front Sport Republic is a football man and will hopefully from that viewpoint will want to grow the club and not just be making profit for a big corporation.

But we should be cautious as Sport Republic may want to finance their purchase and going forward future developments by leveraging the purchase price of the club against the Stadium, however given the level of debt through covid that Saints and most other Premier League clubs have, the ability to do that will be limited.

The problem with assessing the takeover is Sport Direct really have no track record, Rasmus Ankersen does having built up both FC Midtjylland and Brentford into top flight clubs, but it is far easier to get a club from the Championship or even League One into the Premier League than it is to get a club from 11th place to 6th or 7th in the Premier as Everton and Aston Villa and other clubs have found out.

Photo: Action Images



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ElijahK added 14:22 - Jan 4
Pretty fair article Nick, but at the end of the day, a little investment is better than none, so as long as this new owner of ours isn’t gonna take money out of the club (which seems pretty unlikely) then it can’t be any worse (on financial terms) than it is today, and may be the difference between us keeping the next Ings (for example Broja) and then leaving for the money/ambition elsewhere.
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redwight added 15:48 - Jan 4
Sport Direct? hopefully an unfortunate typo.
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SanMarco added 15:53 - Jan 4
I am going to be cautiously optimistic as Nick instructs. As ElijahK says it shouldn't make the situation worse, unless he is an asset-stripper.

I wonder what Ralph thinks - there goes the job security...
3

Block8 added 16:58 - Jan 4
Early enthusiasm tempered with that bit of concern, which, unless you're Newcastle, will always be the way! Can't see a massive investment but maybe a bit of stability in terms of ownership?
Lets not forget Gao, for all the abuse, didn't asset strip, or sell our best palyers without investing the proceeds. So we have a direction that perhaps was missing, lets just hope it's the dream we hope it is and not a nightmare!
3

Colburn added 17:59 - Jan 4
Knight in shining armour? Or just another pawn broker..? He should be able to maintain good control of the board at least..
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