The trend of American investors venturing into English soccer has continued as Texas-based Legend Football Partners kicked off the New Year by acquiring an interest in Alfreton Town Football Club.
Legend Football Partners is a partnership between Texas-based Playbook Management International (PMI) and 1836 Capital. PMI is a sports management company whose interests include the Fort Worth Vaqueros soccer club. 1836 Capital is a corporate finance company that specialises in mergers and acquisitions.
ATFC owner and successful businessman Wayne Bradley has retained an interest in the club including three of the six seats on the club’s board. The additional three board seats will be filled with Legend Football Partners representatives.
1836 Capital identified the opportunity and negotiated the investment. Its managing director Jonathan Collura said about the new partnership, which is effective as of January 1, 2015: “We have created an innovative ownership group with a successful sports management company, a stellar financial management group and passionate, fully committed local Alfreton Town ownership in England.
“This unique partnership is well positioned to help Alfreton Town Football Club realise the great potential that we believe the club has both on and off the field.”
Long-standing Reds chairman Wayne Bradley explained how the international investment in the club and new partnerships will enable the club to build on the solid foundations already in place and help the club move forward positively.
“Alfreton Town Football Club has a long and proud history,” Bradley said.
“I have been honoured to have been its chairman for the past 16 years of that history. During my time as chairman I have overseen the club through four promotions, and won numerous cups and trophies in addition to generating substantial income via player transfer sales.
“The club now operates at the highest level of non-league football in England. I have made it clear throughout my period as chairman that my main aim would be to achieve a place in the future of the game.
“The development of the game on a world stage progresses at pace and the challenge for Alfreton Town FC continues to mount. Therefore, when the opportunity to link with like-minded individuals in the United States of America, I had no hesitation in exploring and developing those links to the good of the club.
“I am therefore delighted that the formalities of a partnership have been agreed. An exciting position has now been created. A position which will propel the great history of the club well and truly into the future.”
He added: “I firmly believe that I will have achieved my ultimate aim of securing a future for the football club in a shape that I could only have dreamed of.”
PMI owns and operates the Fort Worth Vaqueros of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which is the fourth division of US soccer’s professional structure.
PMI Managing Partner Michael Hitchcock said: “Alfreton Town FC has enjoyed unprecedented success in the past five years and sits primed to continue to grow and find even greater success, both on and off the field.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to continue that success with proven marketing strategies, innovative technology products, financial support, player sharing and expanding the ATFC brand throughout England and the global soccer market place.”
The August through to May English season has little overlap with the American summer season, which will allow players to train and play with both clubs as well as potential pre-season tours for the Vaqueros in England and the Reds in Texas.