American investor Joseph DaGrosa and business partner Hugo Varela have expressed ambitious plans to create a global group of European football clubs and academies, starting with an English Premier League team.
The billionaire, who is a former president of French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux, hopes to acquire a number of European clubs at a discount of up to 40 per cent with owners and clubs having suffered financially from the coronavirus pandemic. With up to €1 billion to spend on clubs, DaGrosa has already emerged as a possible candidate to takeover Roma who are presently in search of new owners.
Speaking to Forbes, DaGrosa stated how the impact of the Covid-19 crisis could prove to be an opportunity for himself and his company, General American Capital Partners (GACP), to create a City Football group model far cheaper than the Abu Dhabi United Group who own football clubs including Manchester City FC in the Premier League and New York City FC in the MLS.
When speaking to Off the Pitch, the American businessman disclosed how in some cases he was talking to the debt holders of clubs, as opposed to their owners, which signifies some of the financial trouble that clubs find themselves in.
After selling their stake in Bordeaux, GACP Sports was linked with Premier League side Newcastle United who is currently owned by the unpopular Mike Ashley who has made no secret of his intentions of selling the club. DaGrosa and his business partner, Hugo Varela, told Forbes that they expected their first acquisition to be a mid-table Premier League side before adding a number of other clubs across Europe and academies in South America, Africa and Asia.
At present, UEFA have restrictions on multiple clubs who share the same owner. The rules declare how two clubs or more competing in the same UEFA competition cannot be directly or indirectly controlled by the same entity or managed by the same person. DaGrosa believes that easing these restrictions would be of benefit to UEFA as it would make for a far better environment for investments to take place.
Author: Jake Wilkin