Estoril and Casa Pia are two of the 38 examples of boom of American investors in European football. More than a third of acquisitions took place in the past 13 months.
The paradigm of American football has changed dramatically in recent years. The US interest in soccer has grown and, with it, investment in European clubs has come almost hand in hand. Across Europe, the number of clubs with a majority investor from the United States has grown.
In the two main echelons of the European leagues a total of 38 teams majority owned by US investors. In 14 of these cases (37%), the purchase took place us last 13 months.
Esbjerg fB, from Denmark, and Spice Football, from Italy, are just the most recent examples of the North American bet on the European football market. The Danish emblem has moved down to the second tier this year and has now been purchased by the Pacific Media Group, which still owns Barnsley (England), KV Oostende (Belgium) and AS Nancy (France).
Paul Conway, speaking on behalf of the investor group, said he was eager to develop Esbjerg’s solid foundation and highlighted the use of data and statistics at a strategic level as an important tool for the development of the club. The Pacific Media Group invested about $ 4.8 million.
In turn, Spezia was bought by investor Robert Platek, becoming the fifth Italian Serie A club to be managed by Americans. Fiorentina, AC Milan, Parma and Rome they are the other emblems of the first echelon that already have a majority management of American companies. Serie B’s Pisa and Venice are also owned by US investors.
Robert Platek is also an investor in the Casa Pia SDUQ and one of the owners of MSD Capital. The American also bought the Danish first division Sønderjysk Elitesport at the end of last year. In addition, he is involved in a number of loans to English clubs, notably Derby County and Southampton.
Platek’s arrival came just before the end of the year, but ended up not being reflected in the winter window of the transfer market. The Lisbon club brought six new athletes at zero cost. Currently in eighth place in the II Liga, 14 points from the playoff spot, the chance of promotion to Liga NOS will definitely be arduous.
But Casa Pia is not the only team in Portugal with an American ‘Midas touch’.
In July 2019, the Estoril Beach Futebol SAD was acquired by North American investors, through MSP Sports Capital. The club has since been chaired by Jeffrey Saunders.
The case of ‘canarinhos’ is more successful, with the club currently occupying the second place in the SABSEG League, which gives direct access to the top echelon of Portuguese football.
Daniel Costa, ZAP //