Asian, Australian Consortium In Talks To Buy A-League Club Western Sydney Wanderers
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop "has played down suggestions of an imminent sale of Australian sporting success story Western Sydney Wanderers despite indications a consortium is close to sealing a deal," according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. A group of businessmen from Asia and Australia "have been in talks for some time with FFA, which owns the club, about a takeover of the A-League's newest franchise." Indications "are something could be in place within weeks." If the sale goes ahead, it is understood the Asian group, headed by a Chinese businessman who is reportedly already investing in the Wanderers' youth development, "will be the majority owner of the club." One of the potential local investors appears to be Wanderers board member and long time Australian football fan Paul Lederer, the majority shareholder of food manufacturer Primo Smallgoods. Lederer, whose wealth is valued at A$630M ($609M), is close friends with FFA Chair Frank Lowy. Gallop "would not be drawn" when contacted by The Australian, though it is understood Lowy and Lederer "have recently held a number of meetings about the potential sale" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/22).