One Direction singer's takeover of hometown club flops

Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:23am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - One Direction's Louis Tomlinson has seen his dreams of buying his hometown soccer club Doncaster Rovers thwarted after a fund raising effort fell short of its two million pound ($3.4 million) target.

Singer Tomlinson, who played for Doncaster's reserve team earlier this year, had planned to take over the League One (third tier) club with former owner John Ryan.

The pair had set up a crowdfunding scheme to support the plan but that initiative had raised less than 40 percent of its target on Friday despite the Tomlinson Ryan Trust putting in a "six figure sum" to get the ball rolling.

Tomlinson said on his Twitter feed that he was "absolutely gutted" that the deal was not going ahead to buy a team he has grown up supporting.

Ryan blamed the Football League for blocking the deal.

"They have made it so difficult now that unless you have a bag full of cash you are going to get turned down," he told BBC radio.

The League said it had a duty to ensure that clubs were financially stable.

"In any club takeover it is a requirement for the prospective purchaser to provide a business plan and to demonstrate that the funding is in place to deliver on that plan," it said in a statement.

"In this case, this fundamental requirement has not yet been met."   Continued...

Singer Louis Tomlinson of the band One Direction performs on ABC's Good Morning America inside Central Park in New York, November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson