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  1. ITV Report

Southampton enter into partnership with Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao and his family

Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr announced the news this afternoon Photo: PA

Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr has announced that the Premier League club have entered into a partnership with Chinese businessman Jisheng Gao and his family.

"Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter for our club," said Liebherr, who will retain a 20% share.

"Mr Jisheng Gao and his daughter, Mrs Nelly Gao, with whom I have built a close relationship, share our values and ambitions.

"As a team, we will strive to build upon the strong foundation that is in place towards sustainable long-term success.

While no figure or percentage stake was officially announced in the statement, it is understood Gao and his family now own 80 per cent of the south-coast club.

Liebherr went on to suggest that chairman Ralph Krueger, and other members of staff in place at St Mary's, will continue to operate in their current capacity.