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American Webb completes St Johnstone takeover

American lawyer and Cambridge United shareholder Adam Webb has completed his takeover of St Johnstone.

An agreement was struck earlier this year for Webb to buy Geoff Brown’s shares at McDiarmid Park and all aspects of that deal have now been finalised ahead of the new season.

The takeover had to be approved by the EFL and SFA – due to Webb’s 10 per cent stake in Cambridge United – with the green light coming last month.

Brown – who bought Saints in 1986 – announced he was selling his majority shareholding in December 2022, around the same time his son Steve stood down as chair.

The Brown family have held a majority shareholding in the club for almost four decades, with 81-year-old Geoff sanctioning a move from Muirton Park to their current home of McDiarmid Park shortly after taking control in the 1980s.

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As well as moving to a new stadium, St Johnstone won their first three major trophies, competed in European football and enjoyed their longest top-flight stint under the Browns.

When putting the club up for sale, Brown said “net proceeds” from the deal would be put towards building a community hub for the St Johnstone community trust.

‘A man of high integrity’

PERTH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 18: St Johnstone Honorary President Geoff Brown during a cinch Premiership match between St Johnstone and Rangers at McDiarmid Park, on February 18, 2024, in Perth, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Within an open letter to the club’s fans, Brown said: “First and foremost, it was, and is, incredibly important to me that the club is handed over to the right person. Someone who will act as a suitable custodian while taking the club forward, continuing the good work that I feel has been done up until now. I strongly believe that we have found that person in Adam.

“In all of my interactions with Adam, I find him to be a man of high integrity and I consider that he has the best interests of the club at heart. I am confident that everyone connected to the club will discover this for themselves over the coming weeks, months and years.

“As I look back on my 38 years as majority shareholder of the club, I do so with a lot of pride. As most will know I took on a football club back in 1986 that was in a precarious financial position, operating in a run-down stadium at Muirton Park while languishing towards the depths of Scottish football.

“It hasn’t been easy, but it has been a labour of love and I am immensely proud that I am now handing over a football club that is in a stable financial position, particularly against a backdrop that has been challenging at times, as has been witnessed by the number of other clubs that have ended up in financial trouble – and occasionally in administration – during my time within Scottish football.

“Steve and I will remain available to Adam as a resource should we ever be required and we look forward to continuing to support the club from the outside and are excited about what the future holds under Adam’s stewardship.

“I also look forward to getting to work on the creation of the Community Hub from the net proceeds of this sale and I firmly believe that this will be of great benefit to both the football club and the local community, for generations to come.”

Other American owners in Scotland

The deal means St Johnstone are the fourth top-flight club under US ownership.

Hibernian are owned by the Gordon family, with the late Ron Gordon acquiring a majority shareholding in 2019. Another American, Bill Foley, owns 25 per cent of the club after his investment was approved in March.

Dundee are owned by American businessman Tim Keyes, while city rivals Dundee United are owned by Mark Ogren.

Motherwell are also in talks with US investors – however that deal has not yet been completed.

Key dates for the 2024/25 season

The Scottish Premiership season begins on August 3 and unlike last campaign, there will be no winter break at the halfway stage.

The final round of pre-split fixtures takes place on April 12/13, while the regular season ends on May 17/18.

The Premiership play-off final, played over two legs live on Sky Sports, will bring the campaign to an end on May 22 and 25.

The Championship season begins on Friday August 2, with the final round of games on Friday May 2, 2025. Meanwhile, League One and League Two will kick off on Saturday August 3, with those campaigns ending on Saturday May 3.

The Viaplay League Cup final will be held on Sunday December 15 while the date for the Scottish Cup final is yet to be confirmed.

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