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Western Sydney Wanderers sold

Paul Lederer is expected to be named chairman of the Wanderers.

Paul Lederer is expected to be named chairman of the Wanderers. Photo: Peter Braig

One of the most protracted ownership handovers in Australian sport has finally been concluded with the Western Sydney Wanderers officially going into private ownership on June 30.

The new ownership consortium is headed by Primo Smallgoods boss Paul Lederer, who is expected to become the club’s chairman, Sabre Sports United director Jefferson Cheng, Pirtek founder Glenn Duncan and businessman David Slade. They will take over from Football Federation Australia, who have owned and run the club since its inception in 2012.

Lederer was 75th on the BRW Rich List in 2013 with an estimated fortune of $630 million.The sale of the A-League’s newest club has been ongoing for almost a year, with sale figures mooted between $10 million and $15 million. It is estimated the final fee is around $12 million.

The FFA asked global investment bank UBS to source a buyer for the club but FFA chairman Frank Lowy was ultimately able to sell the club to Lederer, a close family friend, with Slade also working for Lowy’s Westfield group for over 30 years. He is now a partner in the Australian branch of the UK retail outlet, Topshop-Topman.

FFA chief executive David Gallop promised the new owners would continue to strengthen the foundations frenetically built during the club’s first two years.

The Wanderers have qualified for the grand final in each of their only two seasons in the A-League.

The Wanderers have qualified for the grand final in each of their only two seasons in the A-League. Photo: Getty Images

“The Wanderers were built for the people, by the people of western Sydney. That was the promise from day one and FFA has held true to that mission,” he said. “Like FFA before it, the new consortium understands its role as the guardians of the Wanderers. They are entrusted by the members of the club to protect and build on what has been achieved.”

Lederer promised fans that “nothing will change” in how the club connected with their ever-expanding fan base.

“The spirit of this club comes from the members, fans and the people of western Sydney. Nothing will change in that regard,” he said. “I have been a director of the club for the past two years and I’ve had the privilege to play a part and see first-hand what makes this club so special.

“The consortium has responsibility to ensure the Wanderers have a sound financial base and a strong administration so the club can continue to grow and be successful on and off the field.”



Upon taking his role in 2012, outgoing executive chairman Lyall Gorman received a clause in his contract – ratified by then-FFA chief executive Ben Buckley – that allowed him to take a percentage of the final sale of the club, in addition to his salary. Gorman has reportedly been courted by AFL clubs Carlton and Brisbane Lions.

10 comments

  • A pity a community ownership model was not implemented but Paul seems as passionate as the community so onward and upward.

    Next stop, the ACL title!

    Commenter
    DLG
    Location
    Blacktown
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 12:05PM
    • DLG "Next stop, the ACL title!"
      Yeah, well good luck with that one, given the team transfers, and given your next opponent is Guangzhou Evergrande.

      Commenter
      DZ
      Location
      Not in Wanderland
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 1:04PM
    • Wow, DZ, was that comment really necessary? DLG is simply excited and hopeful about his team. Did you really need to be so negative and sour?

      Good luck to WSW and to the new owners. I enjoy going to the games and look forward to many entertaining seasons, both in the A League and the ACL.

      Commenter
      Dee
      Location
      Western Sydney
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 2:30PM
  • Private ownerships no good in this country.
    And all it does is create the same dominance like in the EPL. Only a handful of clubs can ever win it, same old same old.

    Commenter
    Pete
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 1:41PM
    • Except the A-League operates under a salary cap like all the other codes (got I hate that word) in this country.

      Commenter
      Neil
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 5:10PM
    • Agreed. Private ownership and sport should not mix. You may as well get an 'Apple' or 'Coca-Cola' tattoo.

      Commenter
      Nick
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 6:03PM
  • So the golden child that could do no wrong by the FFA has been sold. Wow!

    Commenter
    Rbomber
    Location
    Blacktown
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 2:49PM
    • No Sure I get your point? That was the whole plan -. FFA ran us until suitable owners could be found otherwise the whole amazing story of a team coming from nowhere to reach 2 successive grand finals and the last 8 in Asia at their first 2 seasons attempt would never have happened

      Commenter
      RBB
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 4:56PM
    • lmao :))

      Commenter
      larouse
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 5:29PM
    • Love to know if they received any special consideration re marketing, advertising etc. Obviously their overseas player allowance will be scaled back.

      Commenter
      Hoppa
      Date and time
      May 29, 2014, 5:50PM
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