Bristol Rovers taken over by Jordanian family

Date published: Friday 19th February 2016 3:05

Memorial Stadium: Bristol Rovers may finally get new home

Memorial Stadium: Bristol Rovers may finally get new home

Bristol Rovers have been taken over by the Al-Qadi family from Jordan, the League Two promotion chasers have announced.

The family have taken a 92 per cent shareholding in the club, who are eighth in the table and only one point shy of the play-off places.

Wael Al-Qadi, a Jordanian Football Association member, has been named club president, while Steve Hamer replaces Nick Higgs as chairman.

Hamer was previously Swansea chairman between 1997 and 2000.

The purchase means Higgs steps down after eight years in his role, but he hopes it will bring success to the club.

”There is an element of sadness to be leaving the club but this is an opportunity we couldn’t lose for the club,” said Higgs at Friday afternoon’s press conference.

”At the end of the day, we have found the right people to take the club forward and we cannot wait to see what happens from here on.

”This is a very exciting time to be involved with Bristol Rovers. This is a momentous day in the history of Bristol Rovers Football Club.”

The Al-Qadi family are keen to build a new stadium, which has been an issue for the club for over a decade, with Rovers having recently had their appeal heard in a long-running dispute with Sainsbury’s central to their plans for a new £40million development on land at the University of West England.

Rovers have played at the 11,916-capacity Memorial Stadium since 1996, with a proposed move to a 21,700-seater stadium delayed by a lack of funds.

The new owners have interests in the tourism and banking industries, and Wael Al-Qadi said: “We really see the potential of this great club, we want to improve in all areas, not just on the field.

“Bristol Rovers has always been known as a family club and it is my family’s wish to maintain that tradition. This deal is all about my passion for football. This club has some fantastic supporters.

“When we purchased the club we knew about the stadium issue but we know that a new stadium is a requirement.

“This club needs a new stadium. (The legal case) has to be sorted and finished before thinking of a new stadium, but once everything is in order and ready, the stadium has to be done for this club.”

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