Manchester United legends, the ‘Class of 92’ have agreed to share ownership of non-league club Salford City with billionaire businessman Peter Lim.
According to the Daily Mail, the Old Trafford greats Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville have all agreed to take on 10 per cent stakes in the clubs, while Lim has bought up the other 50 per cent.
The report claims that the former Manchester United players will still collectively have an equal share of power over the club, though the FA are yet to ratify the deal.
Lim is worth an estimated £1.5billion pounds and is Singapore’s ninth richest man, though the report insists his involvement and that of the Class of ’92 will not mean any change in the management structure at Salford City, who are currently top of the Evo-Stik Division One North.
Legal issues have been holding things up since it was revealed in March this year that the Neville brother, Giggs, Scholes and Butt wanted to take over the club, which is situated less than five miles from Old Trafford.
BBC Sport carry a statement from the Class of ’92, where they explain they have known Lim for some time and felt that his track record of business in sport, as well as his involvement in youth and community projects, made him their favoured candidate.
“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,” read the statement.
"Peter's 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. Peter's experience and knowledge can help take the club to where we believe they can be."
Sports ownership ambition
Lim is currently in the process of purchasing La Liga club Valencia, though the move has been slowed down because of negotiations with the Spanish FA and an issue in his relationship with finance company Bankia.
He also attempted to purchase Manchester United’s Premier League rivals Liverpool in 2010, but his offer in excess of £300million was not successful and the Anfield club were eventually bought by American billionaire John W Henry.
The Class of ’92 moniker comes from the five players being integral members of Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering dynasty at Manchester United, which has made them some of the most decorated players in English football history.
David Beckham was another high-profile member of the youth team from which the players emerged, but he has long since left Manchester and the other five have stayed local to the area.
This is being touted as the reason for their interest in Salford City FC, though the reported scope for rapid expansion at the club will also have something to do with it and the Daily Mail report suggests this was key for securing the involvement of Lim.