One Direction's Louis Tomlinson Buys English Soccer Club

Louis Tomlinson and John Ryan for Doncaster Rovers football club
Rex Features via AP Images

Louis Tomlinson, footballer and member of the band One Direction, and John Ryan, businessman and previous Chairman of Doncaster Rovers, are launching a crowdfunding campaign in London on Thursday (19 June) at 3pm with Crowdfunder to support Doncaster Rovers football club.

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson is the new co-owner of English soccer club Doncaster Rovers.

The team plays in the so-called League One, the soccer league two levels below the top-flight English Premier League. Financial details weren't disclosed.

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The Independent ?reported that 22-year-old Tomlinson bought the team together with former chairman John Ryan.

Tomlinson, one of the five members of boyband One Direction, is a lifelong fan of his hometown soccer club. Earlier this year, he played for its reserve team against Barnsley.

"Although I’m young, I am very ambitious and I really want this club to succeed," Tomlinson said in a statement on the Rovers' website.

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The takeover was twice delayed because of negotiations over image rights for Tomlinson, the Independent reported.? They have now been resolved, the paper said without details being disclosed.

The initial snag had related to Tomlinson's management team owns his image rights and argued they should get a cut of revenue, from such things as ticket sales and merchandise, generated from the use of his image or name.

The two owners have launched a crowdfunding campaign asking fans and football supporters to join him making pledges of cash to reach their funding target of £2million ($3.4 million) to support their ambitions for Doncaster Rovers (see promotional video below).

Businessman Ryan, 52, worked with the team during the time of its rise over the past 15 years before stepping down in November.

“Me and John have talked a lot about the football club, he’s a very successful business man," Tomlinson said, We have a good relationship and I think it will be a great partnership.”