One Direction's Louis Tomlinson: Doncaster takeover confirmed

Louis Tomlinson: "I want to, hopefully, make a difference"

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson has exchanged contracts on a joint takeover with former chairman John Ryan of League One side Doncaster Rovers.

Doncaster-born Tomlinson, 22, is a lifelong Rovers fan and played for the club's reserve side against Barnsley earlier this year.

A club statementexternal-link said the takeover was set for completion on 18 July.

It added that the pair would be working with manager Paul Dickov to help secure transfer targets with immediate effect.

How those transfers will be funded, however, may depend on the success of a 'crowd-funding' scheme launched by Tomlinson and Ryan in London on Thursday.

The pair want fans and football supporters to make pledges of cash to reach a funding target of £2m to support their ambitions for the club.

The Tomlinson Ryan Trust set up by the two men will put in an unspecified six-figure sum as part of the campaign "to show its commitment and to encourage fans to come on the journey with them".

Tomlinson said: "For me, this is all about the football, the community and restoring the excitement and desire to making Doncaster Rovers the most exciting club to play for in Yorkshire.

"I want to see the Doncaster Rovers supporters get the club the success it deserves. I grew up in Doncaster and have felt the love for football run through the town, it's for that reason that I have a real personal passion to make Doncaster Rovers a success story.

"This is a big step which I believe will open up opportunities to provide a very, very exciting future for the club and its supporters."

Ryan, who ended his original 15-year association with Rovers last year, is likely to be the more actively involved with the administration of the club than Tomlinson.

The businessman oversaw Doncaster's rise from non-league to the Championship, as well as their move from Belle Vue to the Keepmoat Stadium.

Negotiations over the takeover were protracted due to issues regarding Tomlinson's image rights, which are owned by his management team and would entitle them to a share of any money generated from the use of his image or name.

Tomlinson signed on as a Doncaster player at the start of the season in a move to make money for the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice and turned out as a substitute in front of nearly 10,000 fans for the reserve team in February.

Ryan has also played for Doncaster. The then 52-year-old brought himself on as a substitute in a 4-2 win against Hereford which came after his club had sealed promotion from the Conference in 2003.