BRISTOL: A Jordanian family has bought English fourth-tier club Bristol Rovers.
The Al-Qadi family has taken a 92 percent stake in the 133-year-old club, which is eighth in League Two and only one point from the promotion playoff places.
Wael Al Qadi, a Jordanian Football Association member and vice-president of FIFA candidate Prince Ali’s Asian Football Development Project, has been named president. Former Swansea City chairman Steve Hamer replaces Nick Higgs as chairman.
A Jordanian source described Al Qadi as “a 100pc football man.”
He said: “We really see the potential of this great club. We want to improve in all areas, not just on the field.”
Rovers have played at the 11,916-capacity Memorial Stadium since 1996 but are looking to build a larger venue. Plans for a new home were frozen last year after a falling-out with a supermarket chain which would have shared the site.
Al Qadi’s family own the Arab Jordan Investment Bank and he told BBC Radio Bristol: “I’m a football man, I’m very passionate about football, I consider myself like the fans and I want what’s best for this club.
“This football club requires and needs a new stadium. Once we are ready to go ahead with that project, we will. There’s a lot of work that has been done, but I have to come in and verify or make sure everything is in order, 100%, before taking the next step.”
Al-Qadi attended Westminster School in London before graduating from Boston University in 1991 with a degree in computer science with business administration.
Rovers were founded as Black Arabs FC in 1883 and have been variously nicknamed Pirates (during their long-term stay at Eastville in Bristol) and then GasHeads (after their tenure at Twerton Park, Bath).