A European-based consortium has agreed a deal to take over Australian A-League football club Adelaide United.
The club said in a statement that the group is predominantly made of European business people with activities in Europe, Australia and Asia, and company offices in Hong Kong.
Dutchman Piet van der Pol, a football administrator, will be the main representative of the investors in Adelaide.
United’s statement added that the new owners would seek to grow both the club and Australian football in general. The group’s plans for the club will be presented in due course.
The consortium will take control of the club from the current ownership group, which includes Greg Griffin and Robert Gerrard.
Griffin said that the deal has been approved following an agreement between himself and Gerrard when they took over in 2010 that meant they would both leave the club at the same time.
Griffin said, according to Australian broadcaster ABC: “I had no desire to sell to be blunt, but you know, basically Rob and I had a handshake agreement nine years ago that we came together and we'd leave together and Rob had taken the view that he'd done as much as he thought he could do.”
Griffin added: “They are football people, I know that, and they want to integrate Adelaide United into sort of a global football family, which involves a European club, a Chinese club and (an) Australian club — and I think that's a positive thing.”
Financial terms of the takeover have not been disclosed but ABC said the consortium has paid more than A$10m (€6.3m/$7.8m) for the club.