SINGAPORE businessman Peter Lim is set to buy a 50% stake in non-league club Salford City FC.
The 61-year-old will share the ownership with members of Manchester United’s famed ‘Class of ‘92’ Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who took over the club in March and will each retain a 10% stake.
The takeover deal involving Lim, who withdrew a £320 million bid to purchase Liverpool in 2010 and is close to acquiring a 50% share in Spanish side Valencia, is subject to approval from the Football Association (FA).
“The formal process of the takeover of the club has begun with the FA,” Salford City FC chairwoman Karen Baird confirmed.
“It’s been a great start to the season, we are very excited about the future for the club and what can be achieved,” she added. “The most important aspect for us is that we continue to bond with our community and city and we have assurances this will happen.”
The ex-United quintet said Lim’s significant investment and his business experience of sport and community projects will be invaluable in their quest to propel the Greater Manchester club into the Championship within the next 15 years.
“When we set upon this journey we always knew at some point we wanted external partners involved, people who would share our vision for Salford City FC,” a statement read.
“We have all known Peter for over 10 years, his love of sport, above all football, is well documented. He has an incredible track record in business as well as youth and community engagement, especially at grassroots level.
“This will be fantastic for SCFC, Peter’s experience and knowledge is invaluable and can help take SCFC to where we believe they can be, it’s exciting times for the club.”
Singapore’s ninth richest man Lim – who is estimated to be worth around £1.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine – is a life-long Manchester United supporter and owns several United-themed bars in the Pacific Region of Asia.
The ‘Class of ‘92’ agreed to purchase Salford, is where their first steps in becoming professional footballers were taken, earlier this year and took part in a prestigious friendly against the first team in August to help raise funds for the club.
The Ammies are currently top of the Evo Stik First Division North, the eighth tier of English football, after six wins from their first seven league games this season.