One Direction's Louis To Raise £2m For Doncaster
One Direction's Louis Tomlinson is using crowdfunding in an attempt to raise £2m for his new football club, Doncaster Rovers.
The singer has launched a campaign with former chairman John Ryan to secure the future of the League One team after their deal to take over the side was completed.
The pair have put a six-figure sum into the Tomlinson Ryan Trust and are asking football and One Direction fans to make their own donations in return for rewards.
It is thought to be one of the biggest crowdfunding initiatives launched in the UK.
Twenty-two-year-old Tomlinson is a global star as one member of One Direction and is a lifelong fan of his hometown club.
He played for their reserve side against Barnsley earlier this year and had been close to a takeover before, but a move was twice delayed because of negotiations over image rights.
Tomlinson and Ryan said they want to the trust to help "support the club's ambitions on the football field, to develop its schools, youth and charity programmes and to grow the club as a brand, as well as its supporter base, both locally and internationally".
"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," said Tomlinson.
"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. I want to see the Doncaster Rovers' supporters get the club the success it deserves."
The project will only be funded if the target is reached by 2.46pm July 17.
Businessman Ryan, who ended his 15-year association with Rovers in November, has extensive football experience and oversaw Doncaster's rise from non-league to the Championship as well as their move from Belle Vue to the Keepmoat Stadium before stepping aside in November to allow Terry Bramall and Dick Watson to take over.
The initial delay to the takeover had related to 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.
They believe that interest in the club will increase as a result of Tomlinson's ownership and it is understood they battled for a share of any extra revenue made through merchandise and extra ticket sales.
Tomlinson signed on as a player at the start of the season in a move to make money for the Bluebell Wood charity and turned out in front of nearly 10,000 fans for the reserve team in February.
One Direction, also made up of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik, are currently on the European leg of their tour.
Their next concert is in France on Friday.