Economy: timeshare clubs, a popular phenomenon
It’s more than a trend. For several years now, world football – and more particularly European football – has been the target of investors, in particular funds. The latter do not just buy a club but aim to build up a portfolio made up of several of them. Like the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG), owner of the City Football Group which owns Manchester City as the head of the gondola and eleven other clubs of different types all over the planet.
The philosophy of City Football Group was built around the principles laid down by Ferran Soriano, former vice-president of FC Barcelona in charge of the economy and current managing director of Manchester City, namely that the evolution of a brand of a football club needs to develop on a global scale, and that can happen through the creation of franchise clubs in foreign leagues.
Emulators in France
The CFG model has been emulated, such as Eagle Football by John Textor, the new owner of OL which also owns RWD Molenbeek (Belgian D2), Botafogo (Brazilian D1) and 40% of Cristal Palace (Premier League). Or the company 777 Partners which has just acquired Hertha Berlin (15th in the Bundesliga) at the beginning of the week after having bought Red Star (National) last year. 777 Partners now owns six clubs – Genoa (Serie B), Vasco de Gama (Brazilian D1) and Standard de Liège (Belgian D1), Melbourne Victory in addition to the other two – and a stake (12%) in Sevilla FC (Liga).
“We believe that timeshare contributes to the value of each of the clubs involved and that it allows certain objectives to be achieved, had entrusted to The Team Josh Wander, the boss of 777 Partners, in September. There are resources at the group level. And these resources put in place by our holding company open up new opportunities for each club. They give them access to new forces. This is the case for everything concerning the data and analyzes part, the medical sector, performance and nutrition, or for commercial development. »
Football is now a business like any other for large investment companies, as illustrated in particular by the battle for Premier League clubs. In this context, timeshare has a bright future ahead of it, especially if the authorities adopt a benevolent position.