April 24, 2020 / 8:47 AM / a month ago

Soccer-Belgian club Oostende taken over by American investors

BRUSSELS, April 24 (Reuters) - Belgian soccer club KV Oostende has confirmed their takeover by the American-based investment fund Pacific Media Group (PMG), as the club awaits the result of an appeal over the withdrawal of its professional licence.

PMG has reached a deal with previous owner Marc Coucke's family investment company Alychlo, the club said.

Oostende, in Belgium's top division, had their professional license withdrawn by the country's football association earlier this month because of their debt but the club have appealed the decision and are expecting to be reinstated after a hearing next month.

Belgian media said on Friday that PMG, which already has stakes in English club Barnsley and FC Thun of Switzerland, would be injecting 2.7 million euros into Oostende.

"The club is of course pleased to learn that there is an agreement between PMG and Alychlo, but does not wish to comment further. KVO is confident that it will continue as a professional club next season," a club statement said.

Entrepreneur Coucke left his role as chairman of Oostende at the end of 2017 after buying Anderlecht, Belgium's biggest club.

Oostende were second from bottom in the Belgian top division when the season was prematurely halted and then cancelled because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pravin Char)

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