Southampton released a statement on Thursday confirming the news that a company from China has agreed to buy a stake in the Premier League club.
Lander Sports Development made the announcement to the Shenzhen stock exchange following talks, which Sky Sports report began in November.
China is regularly mentioned in football terms nowadays due to the staggering financial backing of the country’s top-flight league.
Numerous high-profile players, including Carlos Tevez and Oscar, have been moved to the Far East in the past month.
China’s influence is gradually growing in English football as well, with Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion being owned by investors from that part of the globe.
Championship clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Birmingham City also have Chinese investors within their hierarchy.
In an open letter from Southampton’s current owner Katharina Liebherr, she described the development as a “partnership” rather than a complete takeover.
“Please understand that I can only make limited comments regarding this process but I can assure you that any steps we do take will be in the best interests of the club. A potential partnership would need to clear multiple approvals and fulfil strict criteria before being confirmed.”
After hearing the news, fans gave their thoughts on Twitter.
— Ben Stanfield (@BenStanners) January 26, 2017
"look forward to a successful future together"
I see this as a positive.
— John Irwin (@johnthesaint) January 26, 2017
— Charlie (@CharlieSFC_) January 26, 2017
@SouthamptonFC dear Katharina – no more than 49% please ????????
— Debbie (@SFC_Debs) January 26, 2017
— saints fan (@SailorGirl30) January 26, 2017