The world’s oldest football club has moved a step closer to returning to its ‘spiritual home’ in Sheffield after agreeing a new investment deal.
Sheffield FC currently plays its home games in Dronfield, North East Derbyshire, but the club has been plotting to return to its home city for many years.
Its chairman Richard Tims believes its new partnership with the investment consortium LSG Sports could finally help it achieve that aim.
The finer details of the deal have not been disclosed but he claims it will give Sheffield FC, which is recognised by FIFA as the world’s oldest club, the financial clout to make the move happen.
“This will breath some new life into the club and help us achieve the mission we’ve set ourselves, which is to be recognised around the world as the world’s oldest football club,” he said.
“It will help us develop the brand around the world and will give us the financial muscle needed to relocate back to the city where the club began life, which is its spiritual home.”
READ MORE: How Sheffield helped give football penalties and Panini stickers
The club wants to sell its current site for housing to fund a move back to Sheffield, where it hopes to build a stadium and visitor centre as a shrine to the beautiful game, which Mr Tims believes could attract football fans from far and wide.
It had planned to build a new stadium at the Olive Grove sports ground in Heeley, near where the club began life back in 1857, but Mr Tims says that site is no longer being considered.
He said the club is now looking instead at another sports ground, the location of which remains a closely guarded secret, and talks about a potential move there have been going on for around a year.
READ MORE: Tributes to Sheffield United fan and upholsterer to the stars, who scored Bramall Lane cup final winner
LSG Sports, an investment consortium led by Marco Fabbricini and the Leoni Sceti family, will become a shareholder in Sheffield FC under the terms of the deal, and Patrick Leoni Sceti will join the board as a director.
Mr Tims said the deal would help the club, which plays in the eighth tier of the English football, develop its brand and marketing materials and provide extra funding to invest in facilities and player development.
“We look forward to working closely with LSG. Having led the way in the development of modern football, we are very excited to have secured our future at the heart of the sport.,” he added.
LSG Sports director Marco Fabbricin said: “Grassroots football runs through our veins, we are first and foremost lovers of the game. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be associated with one of the true pioneers of this great sport.
“Grassroots football, and the unique sense of community and authenticity that comes with it, has an integral part to play in the modern era. We look forward to supporting Sheffield FC with its aspirations to become something truly special both on and off the pitch.”