Kazakhstan billionaire takes over League One Wycombe

Mikheil Lomtadze
Mikheil Lomtadze founded, a leading technology company in central Asia [Getty Images]

Wycombe Wanderers have been taken over by Kazakhstan billionaire Mikheil Lomtadze.

His Blue Ocean Partners Ltd company has bought a 90% stake in the club, who finished 10th in League One this season.

The Chairboys have been owned by American businessman Rob Couhig since February 2020.

He will remain chairman during the transition of ownership, which will also see Dan Rice become chief football officer, having previously worked at various Premier League clubs.

"Our goal is to achieve long-term success both on and off the pitch whilst building a financially sustainable club, said Lomtadze, a technology entrepeneur.

"The football world is evolving very fast and our priority will be to integrate data analytics and technology to elevate the club’s performance to new levels.

"I am also a strong believer in youth development and it will be fundamental to the club’s vision. We aim to re-open and build a leading high-performance academy which will become an essential part of our long-term strategy of developing a club that consistently performs at the top level."

The sum involved in the takeover deal has not been disclosed.

Lomtadze was listed 581st on the Forbes list of billionaires this year, with an estimated net worth of $5.7bn (£4.5bn).

Wycombe were promoted into the English Football League in 1993 and had a season in the Championship in 2020-21 under former boss Gareth Ainsworth.

They reached the League One play-off final the following season, but lost 2-0 to Sunderland at Wembley.

Adams Park, Wycombe
Wycombe's Adams Park ground was built in 1990 and Wasps rugby club also played there for 12 years until 2014 [Getty Images]

Ainsworth left after more than a decade in charge in February 2023 to become Queen's Park Rangers head coach and was replaced by Matt Bloomfield.

The Chairboys reached Wembley again this season, only to lose to Peterborough United in the final of the EFL Trophy.

"I am excited for the future of Wycombe Wanderers," said chairman Couhig.

"Last year, I announced that I had begun looking at a possible succession plan for our ownership. Since then, I met with a significant number of well qualified people.

"It was apparent from that first meeting that Mikheil and I shared similar values...I came to understand that his goals for the club were similar to mine."

Eduard Vyshnyakov will also join the Wycombe board and will assume responsibility for financial planning.