In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Southampton vice-chairman Les Reed has warned potential investors that the south coast club would be a very expensive acquisition.
There has been some recent talk about a possible takeover at St. Mary’s, with France Football’s Philippe Auclair (via Saints Marching) claiming that Spanish businessman Gerard Lopez is interested in buying the club.
Last year, the Daily Mail also reported that Southampton were in talks with former Bordeaux owner Joseph DaGrosa as he looked to takeover the club in a potential £200m deal, though nothing has really materialised on that front.
With the possibility of majority shareholder Gao Jisheng and Katharina Liebherr wanting to get all of their money back, though, Reed believes investors could be looking at a fee closer to £300m.
Speaking exclusively to FFC on the subject, Reed said:
“If Mr Gao wants to get all of his money back, I suspect that Katharina Liebherr will also want to get her 20% probably at the same rate that she sold the 80% to him in the first place or nearabouts – that would make it a very expensive acquisition.
“If they both want to get out and get all their money back or anywhere near it, that probably puts it up near to £300m. Now, I know the club, it’s been well-publicised that the club have taken on some MSD capital debt. I don’t know how that sits at the moment, but that has to be factored in.
Reed concluded by saying:
“So having spent all that money as an investor, you will then be expected to invest in the playing squad and other areas of the club that require investment, so that makes it quite an expensive buy.”
Based on all of the above, a Southampton takeover certainly does look tricky, especially in this current climate.