Dundalk is back in local hands following confirmation that a deal has been agreed for the acquisition of the club from PEAK6.

A statement from the club confirmed that negotiations were concluded on Wednesday evening, bringing an end to four years of ownership by investment firm.

While the identity of the new owners was not revealed by the club, it is understood former owner Andy Connolly and sports technology firm STATSports will be taking over the reins at Oriel Park, with details on their plans to be revealed next week.

Connolly previously ran the club with his FastFix business partner Paul Brown from the middle of 2012 until its sale to an American consortium, headed by Chicago-based investment group PEAK6, before the start of the 2018 season.

He has now teamed up with Alan Clarke and Sean O'Connor of STATSports, both well known in local footballing circles, to return the club to local hands.

The GPS tracking experts have established a global reputation in recent years and work with some of the top football sides in the world. They hope to use these contacts to help the club going forward.

In a statement, PEAK6 co-founder and managing partner Matt Hulsizer said: "We are incredibly proud of all we achieved with Dundalk FC over these past several years.

"We purchased Dundalk FC in 2018 because we love football and saw the potential to reinvigorate the team through an influx of capital and strategic leadership.

"During our tenure we had the opportunity to get to know the town, the club and most importantly the passion that local fans have for the club. That's why we're so pleased to have found a group of buyers who have local ties and a deep-rooted history with Dundalk FC.

"I have no doubt they will continue to support the success of the club going forward and we will continue rooting for the club's success right alongside the fans."

News of the takeover had been celebrated by the vast majority of the club's supporters, who have been protesting against PEAK6's running of the club for some time.

The Oriel Park outfit had already won three league titles and reached the Europa League group stages under current Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny by the time it was taken over by the Americans at the end of 2017.

While they went on to win back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019, the club has fallen further and further into disarray since the appointment of PEAK6 co-founder Matt Hulsizer's father, Bill, as chairman at the start of 2020.

Following the sacking of title-winning boss Vinny Perth just eight games into a Covid-disrupted campaign, the club did go on to reach the Europa League group stages again last year, as well as winning the FAI Cup under previously unheard of Italian coach Filippo Giovagnoli.

A catastrophic transfer window last winter saw many well-known faces depart Oriel Park, with a number of foreign recruits brought into replace them, who have struggled for game time in recent months following the return of Perth just 10 months after his sacking in June.

While the Lilywhites were briefly in relegation trouble, they secured their Premier Division status with a 2-0 victory over Longford Town on Sunday and now the new owners will be hoping to tie down players as soon as possible for next season, with club captain Andy Boyle the only current senior member of the squad contracted for 2022.

A decision on players and a manager has to be made, but it is understood the takeover will see many former staff and volunteers return to the club, including Connolly's brother, Martin, who was previously chief operating officer.

Local reports suggest that the deal will see around €250,000 left in the club coffers for the new owners to begin a rebuilding process.

There had been interest from a Northern Irish-based consortium in recent weeks but that faded and now the Lilywhites - who still have an outside chance of European qualification next season - will be under new local owners by the time they play again at home to Derry City on Friday, 19 November.

The club statement said the local consortium would reveal plans for the 2022 season next week "with an emphasis on strengthening links with the fans and the local community".