By Andy Sambidge
Hasan Ismaik becomes first Arab chairman in Germany following $25.8m investment
Jordan businessman Hasan Abdullah Mohamed Ismaik has become the first Arab to be elected chairman of a German football club following his $25.8m investment in the club.
Ismaik said last month that he had used his Abu Dhabi-based investment firm to buy a 60 percent stake - 49 percent voting shares plus 11 percent non-voting shares in TSV 1860 Munchen.
With his investment, Ismaik safeguarded the survival of the long-established Munich-based football club, which was facing both insolvency and the loss of its professional licence.
TSV 1860 Muenchen - colloquially referred to as "Die Lowen" (The Lions) - was one of the founding members of the German national Bundesliga.
The club has played a total of 20 seasons in the top flight, winning the league title in the 1965/66 season. The club was relegated from the Bundesliga following the 2003/04 season.
"I feel honoured to be chairman of the supervisory board of TSV 1860, a club not only with a great tradition and identity, but also with a truly outstanding and passionate fan base," said Ismaik.
"I will do everything to support the club and its management to make 1860 profitable again this season. We want to improve and elevate our game constantly, and clearly aim to successfully compete on the international level within a few years."
Ismaik purchased the stake in the club through Marya, a private Abu Dhabi-based investment company chaired and owned by him.
The group has a broad investment mandate which extends to various sectors, including sports, design, construction, real estate, automotive, travel, energy and oil and gas.
In a previous statement, Ismaik said that he was looking at further investments in Germany and would set up a fund of 200 million Euros soon to focus on acquisitions and investments.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.