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SBD Global/May 30, 2014/Franchises

Football Federation Australia Completes Sale Of A-League Club Western Sydney Wanderers

(L-R), Lederer, Lowy and Gallop are present during the license transfer in Sydney.
One of "the most protracted ownership handovers in Australian sport has finally been concluded" with A-League club Western Sydney "officially going into private ownership on June 30," according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The new ownership consortium is headed by Primo Smallgoods CEO Paul Lederer, Sabre Sports United Dir Jefferson Cheng, Pirtek Founder Glenn Duncan and businessman David Slade. Lederer "is expected to become the club's chairman." They "will take over" from Football Federation Australia, which has owned and run the club since its inception in '12. The sale of the A-League’s newest club "has been ongoing for almost a year," with sale figures mooted between A$10M ($9M) and $15M. It is estimated the final fee is around A$12M (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/29). REUTERS' Ian Ransom reported the FFA is "cutting the apron strings from a club it has poured millions of dollars into." The FFA "hastily set up" Sydney's second A-League club in '12 with the help of state funding, and the Wanderers "have proved a smashing success, reaching the competition's final in a fairytale debut season and building a fervent supporter base in the city's working class west" (REUTERS, 5/29). In Sydney, Carly Adno reported not only is the sale "positive news for the Wanderers," but their rival A-League clubs "are also expected to benefit by sharing in the windfall from the Western Sydney club’s success." The surplus from the sale "will be split between the other nine clubs, who are all eager for a cut in the revenue." FFA CEO David Gallop said that the sale of the Wanderers "is an important step in the continued growth of the club." Gallop: “The Wanderers were built for the people, by the people of Western Sydney. That was the promise from day one and FFA has held true to that mission" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/29)
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