Sheffield Wednesday have today been taken over by Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri.
It is understood that talks have been on-going for several weeks over a reported £30m buyout of the Championship outfit.
And the Owls have now confirmed Chansiri, whose family control the Thai Union Frozen Group, the world’s largest producer of tuna as well as one of the biggest worldwide general seafood producers, has purchased the club.
He said: “I am very excited at the prospect of taking over control from Milan. I believe this club has huge potential and I can assure all our supporters that I will be working extremely hard to bring the success that I already sense from my short time in your city our supporters so desperately crave.”
Chansiri watched on from the Hillsborough directors’ box as the Owls drew 0-0 with Birmingham City on Tuesday. The group have recently met with chairman Milan Mandaric, vice chairman Paul Aldridge and head coach Stuart Gray in Sheffield to discuss their plans to take the club forward.
“My son Att, who was a mascot at the recent Blackpool game, is passionate about football and I know will be my inspiration in this project,” he said. “I have made the same promise to him as I do our supporters, he will not let me forget this until we are back in the Premier League.”
Mandaric, who took over the Hillsborough club in late 2010, was in talks to sell the Owls last summer to Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov, but the deal broke down in September after contracts had been exchanged. Chansiri has praised the job Mandaric has done.
Chansiri, who helped finance the Lewis Baker and Will Keane loan deals, said: “Milan has been a wonderful owner of the club, taking over at a very difficult time and guiding it out of League One and handing it over with much still to play for this season in the Championship. I am pleased he has agreed to remain a supporter of the club, I am sure with his football knowledge and business expertise he will be of invaluable help to me.”
The deal is subject to Football League ratification.
Mandaric said: “From the first time I met Dejphon, I felt he was the right person for this fantastic club, his business expertise and passion made him stand out from the other interested parties that I have spoken to since I announced that Mr Mammadov could no longer fulfil his obligation to purchase the club.”
Mandaric says he will step down as chairman once the deal has been approved by the Football League but “will retain an advisory role, wherever Dejphon needs my help, I will only be too pleased to assist”.
He added: “In my four years in Sheffield, I have come to regard this city as my home and desperately want to be a part of the journey we all started together when I arrived which I am sure will ultimately see our club back in the Premier League very soon.”