Waterford United receive lifeline after Swindon Town chairman agrees takeover

Lee Power represented Ireland at youth level.

Power alongside Swindon's new Director of Football Tim Sherwood at the weekend.
Power alongside Swindon's new Director of Football Tim Sherwood at the weekend.
Image: EMPICS Sport

WATERFORD UNITED HAVE received a lifeline after English-based businessman Lee Power stepped in to secure the future of the League of Ireland club.

Power, who represented Ireland at underage level and is now owner and chairman of Swindon Town, has taken full ownership of Waterford, the club have announced this afternoon.

The SSE Airtricity League First Division side plunged into financial difficulty during the season and in April issued an appeal in a desperate attempt to raise €80,000 to keep the club afloat.

Power, whose grandparents hail from Waterford, had been in talks with the club’s majority shareholder, John O’Sullivan, and the Waterford Corporation in recent weeks.

“I am delighted to be involved with a club of such great potential and one which has a wonderful footballing history,” Power, who enjoyed a professional playing career at various clubs including Norwich City, Bradford City and Peterborough United, said.

“I hope the supporters and the business community will get behind what is a new beginning for Waterford United. I see this as a very exciting, long-term project.

“The facilities at the RSC, as well as those at the WIT Sports Arena are top class. I wish to thank FAI Chief Executive John Delaney for all his assistance over recent months, and I look forward to the coming season with great anticipation.

General view of the RSC in Waterford Waterford United's RSC ground. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“I would also like to pay tribute to outgoing Chairman, John O’Sullivan and I would like to thank him for his assistance with the change of ownership.”

Founded in 1930, Waterford have won the League of Ireland six times as well as lifting the FAI Cup on two occasions.

The south-east county has produced several Ireland internationals down through the years including Daryl Murphy, John O’Shea and Stephen and Noel Hunt.

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“Waterford is steeped in football, and their victory in the 1980 FAI Cup Final stands out as one of the great sporting achievements for this great city,” John Delaney, who met Power recently, said.

“It’s a club that is extremely close to my heart. My father was Chairman of Waterford and I was Club Secretary, and I want to thank John O’Sullivan for his great efforts over the years.

“I’m delighted that a great football man in Lee Power is coming in to bring the club back to a highly competitive level, and replicate past glories.”

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