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Dermot Desmond submits proposal to become 25% shareholder of Shamrock Rovers

The Irish businessman says he wants to invest in the club’s academy structure.

Desmond is the majority shareholder of Celtic FC.
Desmond is the majority shareholder of Celtic FC.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

SHAMROCK ROVERS MEMBERS will shortly vote on proposals that would change the club’s ownership structure and see Dermot Desmond take a 25% stake in the League of Ireland outfit.

Desmond, who is Celtic’s largest shareholder, has confirmed to Shamrock Rovers  members that he wants to become a shareholder in the Hoops and plans to invest in the club’s academy structures.

In a statement released on Saturday afternoon, Shamrock Rovers say the Irish businessman ‘sees any involvement with Shamrock Rovers as being more akin to a trustee than a shareholder.’

Shamrock Rovers members will now hold a general meeting to formally vote on accepting or rejecting the proposals which would see the ownership structure be broken down as follows: Members Club (50%), Mr Ray Wilson (25%) and Mr Dermot Desmond (25%).

“Shamrock Rovers has evolved from being a members’ owned entity in 2005 to a hybrid model in 2016 when a partnership structure was developed with Mr Ray Wilson,” the statement read.

“This proposal is the latest potential evolution in the hybrid model of fan ownership combined with private ownership and is a structure that the board of directors of the Members Club feel is a long term sustainable model that will propel Shamrock Rovers forward on and off the pitch.

In a note to club members, Mr Desmond confirmed that should he become a shareholder in Shamrock Rovers his intention is not in pursuit of monetary gain and there is no financial or asset play.

“Mr Desmond noted that he would expect any positive future cash flow generated to be reinvested in the club such that all stakeholders (including supporters, players, coaching staff, management and sponsors etc.) will benefit. Mr Desmond stated that his sole motivation in considering this investment is to advance the cause of Shamrock Rovers.”

It added: “He believes that the proposed investment would put the club on a sound financial footing, providing stability to allow the long term benefits of the club’s Academy plan to bear fruit and to afford Shamrock Rovers the continued opportunity to credibly pursue success on the pitch.”

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Shamrock Rovers say no further comment will be made until after the general meeting.

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Ryan Bailey

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