League One latest: Portsmouth rivals Lincoln announce major investment that sees American legend Landon Donovan join as an advisor
Lincoln have unveiled San Diego Padres baseball team co-owner Harvey Jabara as a new investor in the club.
The American businessman has become a nine-per-cent shareholder in Lincoln City Holdings, which owns 75 per cent of the club.
Jabara has ploughed an initial ‘high six-figure’ sum into the Imps and brings with him former USA international Landon Donovan, who will act as a strategic advisor.
The investment executive’s move is the latest big-money deal for shares or ownership in a League One club.
Ipswich Town were taken over by American consortium Gamechanger 20 in April, while Phoenix 2021 Limited – a group headed by Bahrain businessman Tamal Mubarak Al-Hammad – took over Wigan in March.
Both clubs have since been busy in the transfer market as they plot a route back to the Championship – spending big to do so.
And with Lincoln also welcoming new investment into the club, could they follow suit as Michael Appleton – who turned the the vacant West Brom job – bids to improve on the Imps’ play-off final defeat to Blackpool?
It is believed that former Everton forward Donovan Donovan was instrumental in forming the relationship with the Imps.
While carrying out his role as advisor, the 39-year-old – who won more than 150 international caps for the USA – will remain as team manager and vice-president of the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club.
Confirming his investment, Jabara said: ‘In Lincoln City FC, we have satisfied our search.
‘Let me be clear, we have unyielding admiration and respect for English football. There’s a tradition of excellence, built from the EFL’s founding in 1888 that separates English football from the rest of the world.
‘It is a stand that attracts us to this investment. We are not here to Americanise Lincoln City FC’s way of conducting business, we are not here to pursue or gain control of this football club.
‘Our role will be one of a minority investor – we are stressing that – adding value in the form of capital contribution and engaging in strategic thinking, supporting board-leadership approved initiatives in the hope of achieving established goals of this outstanding organisation.’
This week Pompey’s American owners Tornante, headed by Michael Eisner, unveiled a £10m redevelopment of Fratton Park.
That news was then quickly followed by the landmark purchase of the Roko training facility.