Galway United members have voted to accept a proposed takeover by the billionaire Comer brothers.

The SSE Airtricity League First Division side already receive six-figure support from brothers Luke and Brian Comer as part of a sponsorship agreement which is crucial in the running of the club.

That has been ongoing for close to a decade.

However the Comers moved to attempt to take an 85% share of United and the fan-owned club voted at a specially arranged meeting this evening to allow such a move to take place.

A statement from the club said: "The members of Galway United Friends Co-operative Society voted in favour of the motion for Comer Group to have an option to acquire 85% ownership of the club. We extend our thanks to Luke & Brian Comer for their support of Galway United."

The Comers had written to Galway co-op members in advance of the meeting, stressing the need to reach the top flight in Ireland for the betterment of football in the county.

United currently sit second in the table in the First Division.

In the letter, Luke Comer stated: "The club needs on-field success. Galway needs on-field success. The players coming through our academy need that football career roadmap.

"The club needs an ownership stake in training facilities. The right structures have to be put in place both on and off the pitch to drive both financial success and financial viability.

"All of this requires significant financial investment and that is why we want the option to acquire majority ownership.

"Our commitment to Galway United has been demonstrated over eight years and our business track record over 40 years speaks for itself. We fully recognise that taking a long-term view over several years that you need to invest to drive success.

"Whilst everyone accepts there is not an endless tap of funds, we are prepared to make that future financial commitment to invest. For 2022, that investment will be approximately €500,000."

Further information was provided to members at the meeting.

If the takeover goes through, which should now be a formality following tonight's vote, 15% of the ownership of the club will be retained by the United Galway co-op members.

The Comers are keen to keep a volunteer ethos at the club, and the structure which currently runs it day-to-day is likely to remain in situ.

Four years ago, the Comer Group acquired a site in Mountain South, Athenry, with the view of the future development of a training facility for football, although there have been delays to the project.

Private investment has become a feature in Irish football in recent years. Celtic owner Dermot Desmond and Ray Wilson each own 25% of league champions Shamrock Rovers with the club's members retaining 50%.

Derry City, considered the main challengers to the Hoops this season, have retained member ownership but receive significant financing from billionaire chairman Philip O'Doherty.

Last month Shelbourne revealed they have secured a new "significant" equity investment from Closebreak, a US and Irish-based consortium.