Southampton have confirmed that the club has entered into partnership with Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao and his family who have bought 80% stake in the club. This was contained in an official statement by the club’s owner Katharina Liebherr who made this announcement in a letter to the fans.
Earlier in the year, Gao’s company Lander Sports Development said it had agreed a deal with the Saints, but the partnership is now a personal investment.
Katharina in her letter to the fans expressed confidence that the partnership will yield good fruits.
See letter below:
I am pleased to confirm that talks to bring in a new partner to our club have been concluded.
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.
Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter for our club. Mr Jisheng Gao and his daughter, Mrs Nelly Gao, with whom I have built a close relationship, share our values and ambitions. As a team, we will strive to build upon the strong foundation that is in place towards sustainable long-term success.
Mr Gao, Nelly and I have full trust in Ralph Krueger and his management team. We wholeheartedly support their plans to follow the Southampton Way in the years ahead.
But for now it is business as usual at Southampton Football Club and we must allow everyone at the club to focus on the first few weeks of the new season.
I would like to thank the passionate supporters of the club for their ongoing loyalty and faith, and I look forward to seeing you soon at St Mary’s.
We March On.
Mr Jisheng Gao responded and also expressed optimism. I am honoured and humbled to become a partner of Southampton Football Club alongside Katharina Liebherr, who, together with her father, has been such a great steward of the club, its growth and success.
Together, we have the passion and motivation to build on Southampton’s excellent progress in recent years as we look forward to an exciting next chapter for the club.
Southampton joins over 20 clubs across Europe are owned by Chinese.