China’s Ledman Sports takes over at Brazil’s Nacional in 20-year $1m deal

By Samindra Kunti

April 13 – Ledman Sports, a subsidiary of Ledman Electronics, from China has gained control over Brazilian club Nacional from Manaus for the next 20 years. The Chinese will take over the running of the club with a $1 million fee for the partnership being paid.

Ledman Sports has already been partnering with Brazil’s BSI Soccer – the player agency owned by Fabio de Souza – managing players in China. The Chinese wanted to extend their reach in Brazil and opened negotiations with Nacional.

At an extra-ordinary general assembly, the fans of the supporter-controlled club approved the third-party investment unanimously. The proposed contract length will be 20 years and the club will receive $1 million when the agreement becomes official.

The club had been in negotiations with the Chinese for two months. “We have gotten to a proposal of 20 years of outsourced management in the football department,  leasing the Barbosa Filho Training Center, with investment in the club’s headquarters and in the field of the academy,” explained Roberto Peggy, the club’s president.

“They are going to deposit $1 million to Nacional five days after signing the contract and the idea is to have a transitional period, which will be shared management and, if all goes well, Ledman will start in Serie D of the Brazilian Championship and then fully take control.”

“Now, we are set to finalise the contractual agreement, that is, the draft is already on its way back from China and, everything being agreed, I believe that in the coming weeks we should celebrate the signing and start the partnership in earnest,” added Peggy.

Ledman Sports wants to take the club to the Brazilian top flight. Nacional was founded in 1913 and last played in the Brazilian Serie A in 1985. The club plays its home matches at the Arena de Amazonia, a venue during the 2014 World Cup and where England faltered against Italy.

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