Arab investor to save debt-ridden Munich 1860

AFP, Saturday 16 Apr 2011

Bankruptcy-threatened Munich 1860 may have secured a reprieve with an Arabian businessman set to buy a majority share in the second-division German club worth 13 million euros (18.75m US dollars)

Munich 1860

The ex-Bundesliga club had been on the verge of bankruptcy, saddled with 14 million euros of debt, report Munich daily the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Now multi-millionaire Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, from Abu Dhabi, is close to buying a 49 percent stake, but the club still needs their creditors to waive some of the debts before the deal can take place.

The 34-year-old is reported to be willing to pay up to five million euros of the club's debts and wants to invest 20 million euros by 2014 to help the club, who were relegated in 2004, return to the Bundesliga.

"We look forward to working together," said Ismaik having reviewed the club's finances and completed due diligence.

1860 Munich are also reported to be working hard to reach an agreement with their creditors before the deal can be finalised.

The deal still needs to be approved by the German Football League (DFL), who have strict regulations for an investor or business financing a German club.

German champions in 1966, 1860 Munich were the main club in the Bavarian capital until the late 1960s when Bayern Munich rose to begin their domination of the Bundesliga.

'The Lions' are notorious for refusing a young Franz Beckenbauer a contract before he went onto captain and coach Germany to World Cup triumphs.

The second-division club share the Allianz Arena with Bayern, but fell behind on rent payments to their wealthy neighbours and were deducted two league points in October because of their financial problems.

If the deal goes through, 1860 Munich will become the first German club funded by an Arabian investor.

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