Swansea City close to announcing American takeover
On the back of beating Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday to all but secure their Premier League status for another season, Swansea City have announced they’re in advanced talks with two American businessmen about becoming their new majority owners.
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Swansea have been in the Premier League since 2011-12 and after rising from the depths of the fourth-tier of the English soccer pyramid they are a huge success story of fan ownership.
The Swansea City Supporters Society (also know as the trust) owns 20 percent of the PL club, as local businessmen and fans purchased that share to help save the club from extinction just over a decade ago.
U.S. investors Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien and their investment group are in advanced talks to finalize an agreement to become the new major shareholders of Swansea.
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Kaplan is the co-founder of Oaktree Capital Group and the vice chairman of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, while Levien is DC United’s managing general partner. The duo know each other from Levien’s time as CEO of the Grizzlies.
It is believed that DC United of Major League Soccer and Swansea would work very closely together, plus the duo are eager to expand Swansea’s 20,520 seat Liberty Stadium and also invest heavily in their academy system. Current CEO and Chairman Huw Jenkins will also remain in charge under Kaplan and Levien.
If they were to be successful then the Swansea would become the seventh PL club to have Americans as majority owners or shareholders. Manchester United, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Arsenal are the others.The Swans released the following statement on their website on Saturday.
Swansea City Football Club can confirm that it is working to finalise an agreement to bring in a new major shareholder.
Board members have discussed an agreement which would see Steve Kaplan, Jason Levien and their investment group acquiring a controlling interest in the club.
Chairman Huw Jenkins and vice-chairman Leigh Dineen would remain in their management leadership roles within the club.
Talks will continue with the aim of an agreement being ratified by the end of the season.
Huw Jenkins said: “We believe we have a proposal which will help Swansea City progress both on and off the field.”The club will endeavour to keep supporters informed of developments, but no further comment will be made at this stage.