Why hasn’t anybody bought Southampton yet? – The Athletic

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
3 Min Read


On the face of it, buying Southampton Football Club would appear to be an interesting proposition.

They have a highly-regarded academy, a 32,000-seat stadium, a manager signed to a long-term deal and a handful of good players at their disposal as they prepare for what will be their 10th Premier League season in a row.

So far, however, all that hasn’t been enough to convince a potential buyer, other than American businessman Joseph DaGrosa, that buying them would be a worthwhile investment.

Throughout the takeover process, The Athletic has strived to keep you up to date with the latest movements regarding the future of your football club. As it stands, there are still two or three interested parties, although they are yet to make the crucial step forward and show serious intent.

Why is this, though?

The Athletic spoke to several industry insiders, all with vast knowledge of the current market, about the impact COVID-19 is having on individuals who have the funds to buy such a football club and whether now is even the right time to purchase a Premier League one.

Pivotal to any sale of Southampton is Gao Jisheng, the Chinese businessman who paid between £180 million and £200 million to purchase an 80 per cent stake in the club from Katharina Liebherr in 2017.

Since that initial investment, however, Gao hasn’t put another penny in.

It must also be said that he hasn’t ever taken a penny out, either.

To get through the pandemic, Southampton’s hierarchy had to turn to





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