Canberra, June 14 : Chinese multi-millioire Martin Lee was on Tuesday announced as the new owner of an A-League football club, the Newcastle Jets.
After months of negotiations, Lee and his Ledman Group — a major LED lighting manufacturer — have reportedly bought the Jets for $4.1 million. This is the first major Chinese investment in the A-League’s 11-year history, reports Xinhua.
The Jets are one of 10 teams who make up Australia’s premier men’s football league - the Hyundai A-League - and are governed by the Football Federation Australia (FFA).
The Jets have been under the FFA’s ownership since May last year, after former owner than Tinkler’s licence was termited. Lee was med on Tuesday as the Jets’ fourth owner in just 11 years.
Lee is the president and chief executive of Chinese company Ledman Optoelectronics. The company was valued at $1.04 billion on the Chinese stock exchange.
The Ledman group already owns Chinese lower-tier club Shenzhen Renren FC, sponsors of the Chinese Super League and is the ming-rights sponsor for Portugal’s second division.
At his media conference in Newcastle, Lee said he was excited about the future of the Jets.
“We see a bright future for football across Asia and the Hyundai A-League is at the forefront as one of the top professiol leagues in the region,” he said.
“The investment aligns with Ledman’s activities in several sectors of the sports industry and I’m excited by the potential of the club.”
Another strong focus is that Lee will continue to work with the Newcastle community.
“Most of all, I understand that the Newcastle Jets are a very important part of the Newcastle community. I want to work closely with everyone in Newcastle, the fans, members and the local football community, to make this club the best it can be.”
Lee is expected to travel to Newcastle every two months and will have his local magement team oversee and run the Jets. IANS