- Associated Press - Monday, June 13, 2016

SYDNEY (AP) - Football Federation Australia has sold the A-League club Newcastle Jets to China’s Ledman Group.

FFA chairman Steven Lowy on Tuesday said the Ledman Group’s investment is a significant step in Australian football’s engagement with Asia.

“Ledman’s move is a signpost towards our future in the fastest growing football region in the world,” Lowy said. “This demonstrates the strength and growing international status of the A-League.”

Details of the deal were not disclosed.

The Shenzhen-based Ledman Group, a manufacturer of high-tech LED signage, is an official partner of the Chinese Super League and owns a club in the third tier of China’s domestic competition.

Ledman is also a naming-rights partner in Portugal’s second division and has a strategic shareholding in Infront Sports and Media Group.

Martin Lee, the Ledman Group chairman, said the purchase of the Newcastle Jets was part of a strategic expansion.

“We see a bright future for football across Asia and the Hyundai A-League is at the forefront as one of the top professional leagues in the region,” Lee said. “The investment aligns with Ledman’s activities in several sectors of the sports industry and I’m excited by the potential of the club.”

Formed in 2000, Newcastle won the A-League title in 2008 but struggled subsequently under the ownership of mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.

In May, 2015 the FFA revoked Newcastle’s license and placed the club in administration, forming a new organization under the Newcastle Jets name.

The club finished eighth in the 2015-2016 A-League season.


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