Prague (AFP) – Private Chinese company CEFC China said Tuesday it had taken full control of Czech top-flight side Slavia Prague after snapping up a 20 percent stake from a minority shareholder.
It is just the latest example of Chinese money flowing into European football, after investors from the country bought up stakes in scores of clubs including Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
CEFC, the seventh-largest private company in China, “now owns 99.964 percent of Slavia Prague,” Pavel Bednar, spokesman for CEFC Group (Europe) Company, said in a statement.
Slavia fans own the remaining shares.
CEFC bought 60 percent of Slavia from a Czech investor in September 2015, saving the oldest Czech football club from serious financial trouble.
Slavia won their last league title in 2009 but then struggled through the next few seasons as a result of ill-planned team changes and subsequent financial woes.
Since CEFC’s arrival last year, Slavia have revamped the team and shot up from 11th spot in the 16-team league at the end of 2014/2015 to fifth last season.
Slavia sit third, halfway through the current season, trailing leaders Viktoria Pilsen by four points.