THE CEO of a Midlands-based National League football club has taken over Gibraltar’s bottom-placed side in a surprise move.
Mark Palmer of Solihull Moors said he it was ‘a proud moment’ to become the new owner and chairman of Lions Gibraltar FC with immediate effect.
“I’m honoured to be the new owner and chairman of this great football club,” Palmer said in a club statement.
“We are looking to take the club into the next phase of its history and on an exciting journey.”
Lions FC said that Palmer has ‘extensive knowledge and experience in the game and has previous club ownership in the English Football League’.
He is CEO and board member of Solihull Moors FC which is located in south-east Birmingham.
The chairman and majority owner of Solihull Moors, Darryl Eales, and British Deputy High Court judge James Pickering will also be joining the Lions club board.
The historic Gibraltar club’s recent run of bad form has seen them plummet to the bottom of the Rock’s 11-club football league.
They are still looking for their first win of the season, with only two points from 13 games.
Palmer thanked Alex Grech, Kadrian Bugeja and Daniel Buhagiar for ‘their sterling work and custodianship of the club’ in recent years.
The trio will continue to be part of the development of the club going forward, Lions confirmed.
With rich rewards available to clubs who qualify for European competition, the takeover could see more English players taking part in local competition.
Gibraltar’s football league has been mainly dominated by Lincoln Red Imps FC, the Rock’s most famous club.
They are well-known for their 1-0 home win over Glasgow Celtic FC in 2016 and reaching the Uefa Conference League group stage in 2021.
St Joseph’s FC is currently leading the Imps by three points at the top of the Gibraltar table.