DONCASTER, England (AP) — Things are heading in a new direction for English third-division team Doncaster.
One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson completed his takeover of the club along with former chairman John Ryan on Thursday. The 22-year-old Tomlinson, a global star as part of the five-member boy band, is a lifelong Doncaster fan and played for the club's reserve side this year.
Ryan, a businessman who oversaw Doncaster's rise from non-league to the championship, stepped aside in November. Tomlinson signed for the club at the start of the season to raise money for a charity, and drew about 10,000 fans to the stadium when he played in February.
The club was relegated at the end of the season to third-tier League One. Doncaster said Tomlinson and Ryan will immediately start working with team manager Paul Dickov to buy new players in the summer transfer window.
The new owners also launched a crowdfunding campaign, asking the singer's fans and Doncaster supporters to help them raise 2 million pounds ($3.4 million). "I want to see the Doncaster Rovers supporters get the club the success it deserves," Tomlinson said. "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."