After two long years of league ownership, the Western Sydney Wanderers have a private owner, with a consortium purchasing the Wanderers license, it was announced on Wednesday.
The leader of the group, Paul Lederer, has been investing in Football since 2010, having been a major sponsor of Central Coast Mariners until the foundation of Western Sydney Wanderers when he switched his sponsorship to avoid any conflict of interest.
Lederer is the CEO of Primo Group and has been joined by other significant businessmen from Sydney’s Western Suburbs to keep the team in the hands of Western Sydney ownership.
Joining Lederer is Jefferson Cheng, Director of Sabre Sports United; Glenn Duncan, director with Pirtek, the naming rights sponsor of Western Sydney’s stadium and David Slade a partner with UK retail chain Topshop-Topman and part of their Australian branch.
The move to the new group will be finalized on 30th June 2014, just in time for the owners to take over at the start of a new financial year.
In a press release, FFA CEO, David Gallop focused on the importance of finding a group that would operate for the people of the Western Suburbs.
“The new consortium understands its role as the guardians of the Wanderers.” Said Gallop “They are entrusted by the members of the club to protect and build on what has been achieved.”
There will certainly be pressure on the Lederer group, with two years of success, two straight Grand Finals appearances and two berths in the Asian Champions League, that form will be expected to be maintained.
In the same statement Lederer made a commitment that the attitude of the club will not change, and that the success will continue.
Lederer comes in as a good choice, having served as a director at the Wanderers for their first two years and so has first-hand knowledge of the club and the culture, and will enable that to continue.
What is not clear at this stage is if Lederer will continue on the board, and the future of current board members, it would be expected that current CEO, Lyall Gorman, will be departing but more information will be coming out as the license transfers.