Wolves’ owners in talks over buying stake in Belgian club K.V. Oostende
Wolves owners’ Fosun have opened talks over a potential investment in Belgian club K.V. Oostende as they look into expanding their portfolio of football clubs in Europe.
It is understood that Fosun officials will meet representatives from Oostende’s owners Pacific Media Group on Wednesday having expressed a serious interest in investing in the club that is currently fighting against relegation from the Belgian topflight. PMG – who are owned by Chien Lee and Paul Conway - also have stakes in several other European clubs including League One side Barnsley, Nancy in France and Kaiserslautern in Germany but are believed to be open to selling their stake in Oostende that they purchased in April 2020 from previous owner Marc Coucke.
Oostende had their professional license withdrawn by the Belgian football association that season because of their mounting debts and it understood that there are fears of a similar situation arising if a buyer is not found soon. PMG are believed to have set a minimum pricetag of €10m for any interested buyers, although talks with Fosun are believed to be at a very early stage.
Related: Chelsea step up push for Strasbourg stake after multi-club model boost
Wolves previously had an informal link-up with Spanish third-tier club FC Jumilla which was described by chairman Jeff Shi as a “pilot scheme” for link-ups with other clubs, although that was ended in 2019 when they went out of business. But Fosun’s potential move for Oostende, who are managed by Austrian Dominik Thalhammer, could be a significant step in establishing a multiclub partnership in one of Europe’s most productive leagues for players with significantly less work permit restrictions than the Premier League.
The Guardian reported last week that Chelsea have stepped up interest in buying a stake in French side Strasbourg after Uefa’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, opened the door to relaxing restrictions on clubs with the same owner playing in the same European competitions. The Newcastle director Amanda Staveley also suggested the club’s owners are interested in adding a club to their portfolio to “grow Newcastle and our brand” and she was reported by Bloomberg last week to have held talks with 777 Partners – which owns stakes in Sevilla, Standard Liège and several other clubs – over a potential investment into the venture capital firm.