Sports clubs enter the era of “pure trade”
Sunday – 11 Dhu al-Hijjah 1443 AH – 10 July 2022 AD Issue no. [
Todd Buehle, the new owner of Chelsea (AP)
New York: “Middle East”
Wealthy families have dominated sports clubs for a long time, but times have changed now, as the teams are no longer a family affair, but rather trade purely with the transfer of ownership to investment funds and alliance companies, despite the downturn in the global economy.
In May, Todd Boehle became the youngest American billionaire to buy a Premier League club, after entering into a £ 4.25 billion ($ 5.3 billion) deal with a consortium to buy London’s Chelsea.
California-based investment group Clearlake will be the majority shareholder in Chelsea as part of the consortium, with Bohli as the new president of the club, put up for sale by its Russian owner Roman Abramovich. All prominent figures in the Bohli-Clearlake Capital consortium have joined the new Chelsea board.
On his way to take over at Chelsea, Bohley, one of the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club, surpassed 11 other bids for the London club, proving that the English Premier League’s world brand is a key driving force as it presents the opportunity to take advantage of the large transmission revenues television and the sale of club products.
In his approach to the issue of acquiring Premier League clubs, Buhli told Bloomberg in 2019 that “to play (commercially and economically) at the highest levels. It’s about the best players. You also have a media market in the midst of growth. ”
Some analysts in the football economy believe that the value of the top clubs in the English Premier League could reach more than £ 10 billion within a decade, and for this reason the number of corporate alliances is increasingly eager to enter the line of economic advantage, but not only in the “Premier League”.
“You see more money coming in from institutional investors in sports than there used to be from families or wealthy individuals,” said David Gandler, co-founder and general manager of the US streaming service Vopotify.
There are also other ways to live out the sports dream by buying a club, according to businessman Pascal Rigaud, who recently became a shareholder in Paris FC, which participates in the French second division, and explains: “There is a few cases of individuals coming together. together as a group to buy clubs. “
He added that the benefits of this are to reduce costs for each individual buyer and increase the potential number of investors, thus “reducing financial risks.”
However, the amounts paid show little sign of low investment, as the Boehli consortium paid a record price for a sports club, but this record did not last long, as another US consortium led by Walmart heir Rob Walton and with the participation of other people, including his daughter and son-in-law, bought the Denver Broncos for $ 4.65 billion from the NFL.
These prices surpass the ability of other Americans, who encouraged them to look to the European continent to invest their money in its football clubs.
As for Italian champions AC Milan, US investment fund Redbird “Rossoneri” has chosen to buy it at the beginning of June for $ 1.3 billion from its other US rival, “Elliott Management”.
The American businessman John Textor, who was originally a shareholder in the English club Crystal Palace, bought the largest share of the seven-time French champion Lyon, through his sports investment company, Eagle Football Holdings.
The € 600 million he paid in June was a record investment for French clubs.
“There are many factors that are pushing everyone in the same direction,” says Salvatore Galatito of financial services firm Galatito Sports Partners. No other media content is more valuable than sports. ”
He continued, “Wedery will also work to improve public succession. As a result, people will watch more matches and this will increase the value of the content.”
This is reflected in the fantastic amounts paid for TV rights and not just in football which remains the most important in terms of live content.
The big money provided to the clubs is accompanied by an increase in competition also among the companies broadcasting the matches, with the entry of streaming services such as “Amazon” and “Dazon” on the line to become a major player .
The cost of transferring the American Football League (NFL) to the United States for 11 years amounted to $ 110 billion in March 2021, while the cost of transferring Indian Premier League cricket for a period of $ 6.2 billion between local and digital rights. of five years when it was tendered in mid-June.
Also for investors, owning a club is a safe investment because the sport has shown its ability to withstand the economic downturn.
Rob Telles of the specialized investment bank, Inner Circle Sports, reinforces this theory with what happened to the four major American sports, which shrank in value in the 2008-2009 season by only 2 percent at a time when the country “one of the worst economic crises in history. ”
For Rigo, sport also has this “charming” key element to attract investors, adding: “There is also the phenomenon of investors not wanting to miss the train,” with regard to benefit from sports investment.