August 14: Owner of Premier League side Southampton, Katharina Liebherr, published a letter on the club's official website, announcing that Chinese investors Gao Jisheng and his daughter Nelly Gao have become the new main partners of the club. An insider to the deal told Associated Press that the Gao family had paid £200 million to buy a 80% stake in the club.
Gao Jisheng is the chairman of the Chinese investment company Lander Group. Previously in January 2017, Lander Sports, the sports subsidiary company of Lander Group, tried to purchase Southampton but failed. The takeover then became a personal investment with the Gao family buying the club's stake as individuals. They have now finally completed this deal having passed the Owners' and Directors' Test which includes detailed background checks on any individual proposing to acquire more than 30% of shares in a club, or to be a director on the club's board. This Southampton deal marks the second club to be wholly controlled by Chinese investors in the Premier League after West Brom.
“I am pleased to confirm that talks to bring in a new partner to our club have been concluded, ” stated Katharina Liebherr, “Following extensive and fruitful work, we are entering into a partnership with the Gao family and I am excited about what we will achieve together. ”
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick