Saints continue to be owned by Gao Jisheng despite reports the Premier League are looking into whether the Chinese state has gained a stake in the club.

As previously reported, Mr Gao sold just short of 30 per cent of his China-based Lander Sports company for approximately £148.5m.

The Financial Times have reported that a filing in China revealed that a state-owned company have purchased the stake, subject to approval, and reduces the holding of Mr Gao’s family to 23.95 per cent. That has reportedly led the Premier League to ask Saints what impact this has on ownership of the club.

However, as the Daily Echo reported in February, the Chinese based Lander Sports company was not the investment vehicle used when Mr Gao purchased around 80 per cent of Saints for £210m in August 2017.

Instead, a separate UK based company was set-up for the deal, called Lander Sports (UK) International Investment Co Ltd, so Mr Gao could privately fund the acquisition.

It has just filed accounts for its first year with Mr Gao listed as the only person with a significant controlling interest in the company.

Saints are unaware of unfulfilled Premier League requests for further information but believe they would be simple to provide given the nature of the ownership structure.