Billionaire Swiss family eyeing Southampton takeover

Two groups are bidding for control of League One Southampton.

Two groups are bidding for control of League One Southampton.

The Mail on Sunday says a billionaire Swiss family and a group led by football deal maker Keith Harris are battling to rescue League One Southampton from oblivion and make them one of the richest clubs in English football.

The identity of the potential owners being advised by investment banker Harris is unknown, but sources on the south coast revealed that the Swiss interest is backed by the Liebherr Group.

A third group named Gillico are also said to be in the frame, but the Harris-led bid and the Swiss are vying to complete a quick deal to save Southampton after the collapse of a bid fronted by ex-player Matt Le Tissier.

Willi and Isolde Liebherr, the son and daughter of company founder Hans, are worth more than £2billion and if a deal goes through, only Manchester City's Sheik Mansour, Chelsea's Roman Abramovich, billionaire QPR owners Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal and Tottenham backer Joe Lewis would rank higher in English football's rich list.

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