Members of the Dublin club will be asked to approve the major investment over the course of the next four weeks, which is understood to have been steered by Sydney-based businessman Ray Wilson, the man responsible for funding Shamrock’s investment in its academy. The deal is now subject to final approval by Desmond.
The Irish Times reports that, while Desmond will likely have a sizeable influence in the club, he is not thought to be in line to obtain a controlling interest.
Despite the investment being Desmond’s doing rather than a Celtic initiative, some members are thought to privately fear for the club’s independence, and that the plan for Shamrock academy players to be developed and then sold onto a profit could be harmed by a strong link between themselves and Celtic.
However, Rovers are hopeful that the sale of Gavin Bazunu for a reported fee of €400,000 to Manchester City last year is a sign of things to come.
Former Shamrock youth coach, Damien Duff, moved to Parkhead to take up a role with the reserve team just before Christmas, and is now part of Neil Lennon’s management team following his return to the Hoops this week.