game changer | 

Premier League club Southampton consider taking a stake in Shelbourne

A deal which would deliver a seven-figure cash boost to the Tolka Park club is nearing completion.

A general view of Shelbourne's Tolka Park stadium© SPORTSFILE

Daniel McDonnellIndependent.ie

Southampton’s owners Sport Republic are in advanced talks about taking a significant stake in Shelbourne.

Independent.ie understands that a deal which would deliver a seven-figure cash boost to the Tolka Park club is nearing completion.

The London-based investment firm which was co-founded by Danes Rasmus Ankersen and Henrik Kraft, and backed by Serbian media mogul Dragan Solak, are looking to expand their portfolio of clubs to emulate the multi-club group model favoured by global operations such as the City Football Group behind Manchester City and the Red Bull stable of teams.

Sport Republic paid £100m to take a controlling 80pc stake of Southampton last January, and assumed 70pc control of Turkish second tier outfit Goztepe in August. They have also been linked with French side Valenciennes and are believed to be exploring other options across Europe.

They have been in discussions with Shelbourne for a number of months and there is confidence that it will result in a positive conclusion.

Shels have taken a number of steps forward since Andrew Doyle acquired the club in 2018, with businessman Brian McGovern, Ricky Walsh and Mickey O’Rourke subsequently coming on board.

Earlier this year, the club announced that they had secured ‘significant equity investment’ from Closebreak, an American-based company with a strong Irish flavour.

The arrival of Sport Republic on the scene has the potential to bring the club’s football operations to another level with Damien Duff’s side currently preparing for Sunday’s FAI Cup final with Derry City.

Ankersen is a highly-regarded name within football, a central figure in the rise of both Brentford and Danish side FC Midtjylland.

He was Brentford’s joint director of football on their ascension to the Premier League and was also executive chairman of Midtjylland as they emerged to win three domestic titles and reach the Champions League with a data driven approach to player recruitment underpinning the success of both clubs.


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