A takeover of Southampton Football Club by American businessman Joseph DaGrosa has reportedly been delayed after the team’s strong Premier League form.
According to a report from the Daily Mail (Saturday 28th November 2020, pg 123), current owner Jisheng Gao is using the impressive showings of Ralph Hasenhuttl and his players to raise the asking price for a potential buyout.
Mentions of DaGrosa’s moves to secure Gao’s majority shareholding at St Mary’s surfaced back in September, and further reports suggested that the current pandemic had reduced the cost of a deal significantly.
Saints were also said to be furious with “Project Big Picture” plans put forward by Manchester United and Liverpool back in October because of the damaging effect for their own potential takeover.
Now though, it appears that Gao must choose whether he acts in the interests of the club or himself as a businessman.
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Raising the price of a deal in the current financial climate just would not be a good idea. Uncertainty produced by the pandemic will have put off a number of potential buyers and Saints are lucky to have someone like Joseph DaGrosa interested in investing.
What is for certain is that the club must continue to function as it is at the moment despite what is reportedly happening off the field.
The team are performing excellently and have accumulated 17 points to lift themselves up to fifth at the time of writing.
They have built a bright group of players with a great blend of experience and the youth who will provide the talent of tomorrow – all whilst integrating that club’s academy system more than under previous managers.
There has also been a huge improvement in interaction with fans. CEO Martin Semmens regularly speaks to media sources close to the club and tells the supporters how it is – a refreshing approach after so long where things were much more secretive.