Southampton: Sport Republic eye two new clubs in bid to emulate Man City owners’ network of teams

Southampton’s billionaire owners Sport Republic are drawing up plans to add two new clubs to their network by the end of summer… with Dragan Solak and Co planning to emulate Manchester City chiefs by acquiring a portfolio of teams

  • Southampton owners Sport Republic want to add two new clubs to their network
  • The group, led by Dragan Solak, bought an 80 per cent Saints stake in January
  • Now they have plans to make them the cornerstone of a portfolio of clubs
  • Solak and Co have plans to emulate City Football Group and the Red Bull group¬†

Southampton’s new owners Sport Republic are hopeful of adding up to two clubs to their network by the end of the summer.

The group, led by Serbian billionaire Dragan Solak and including CEO Rasmus Ankersen plus chairman Henrik Kraft, bought a £200m, 80 per cent controlling stake in Southampton in January.

They revealed plans to make the south coast side the cornerstone of a portfolio of clubs similar to the City Football Group that Manchester City are the focal point of or the Red Bull group.

Southampton owners Sport Republic are hopeful of adding up to two clubs to their network

Ankersen has first-hand experience of multi-ownership having been a co-director of football at Brentford and also chairman of Danish side Midtjylland who were owned by the Bees.

The process with Sport Republic is progressing with the group mindful of the stated desire on their arrival and keen to build on their purchase of Southampton.

Increasing the size of their network could aid Southampton in numerous ways including, in time, their recruitment.

Sportsmail understands foreign clubs in Band 2 of the Governing Body Endorsement rules, introduced following Brexit, are currently under consideration by Sport Republic.

They plan to emulate City Football Group, who made Man City the focal point of their network

They plan to emulate City Football Group, who made Man City the focal point of their network

Sport Republic want to make Saints the cornerstone of their own portfolio of clubs

Sport Republic want to make Saints the cornerstone of their own portfolio of clubs

Band 2 includes the top flights in Holland, Belgium, Turkey and Portugal along with the Championship.

Overseas players will now need a GBE to move to England. Post-Brexit that also includes players from EU countries.

Players need to accumulate 15 points across six different categories in order to be granted a GBE.

The quality of the domestic league they are playing in is one of the factors with more points awarded to players featuring in higher band leagues, based on the amount they play.

Having partner clubs in would, among other benefits, enable Sport Republic, like other similar operations, to place players there so they can accrue the required experience to become eligible to move to England.