A 10th Premier League club has fallen under significant American investment after AFC Bournemouth confirmed Bill Foley’s takeover had been ratified by the top tier. Swiss-based Russian businessman Maxim Demin agreed a deal for around £120million to hand the South Coast club to Foley, who also owns National Hockey League side the Vegas Golden Knights.
As part of the takeover, Hollywood actor, director and producer Michael B Jordan will take a minority stake in the club, in what is the Creed star’s first step into professional sports ownership.
Foley has already visited the Vitality Stadium to watch Bournemouth’s 2-1 win over Leicester City as an agreement was sealed in October. Bournemouth were among a host of clubs pursuing fresh investment from the US in recent months, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Leeds and Southampton all turning to American-based banks to stimulate fresh investment.
Incoming chairman Foley, 67, also chairs one of the US’ largest insurance companies, Fidelity National Financial, as well as Cannae Holdings, who are involved in the deal. Ultimately, Cherries will be owned by Black Knight Football and Entertainment (BKFE), which in turn is owned by Cannae Holdings, who hold a 50.1 per cent stake, with Foley controlling 25 per cent of shares.
“A businessman and philanthropist, Bill also has an extensive background in sports including tremendous success as the founder and owner of the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights, the first major league sports team in Las Vegas,” Bournemouth said in a statement.
“Bill and his partners are committed to providing the investment to sustain and build upon AFC Bournemouth’s recent accomplishments, which includes returning to the Premier League in 2022/23, where the Cherries have spent six of the last eight seasons.”
Foley, the club added, “is committed to increased investment in AFC Bournemouth’s first team as well as the academy and fan experience at Vitality Stadium, on top of immediately beginning construction of a state-of-the-art training centre and increasing financial commitment to the AFC Bournemouth women’s team and girls’ teams”.
“I have tremendous respect for the passion and support the Bournemouth community shows for this club and believe that connection to the community is the foundation for success of any sports team,”
Foley said, “We will move forward with an ‘always advance, never retreat’ approach that has defined all of my endeavours. I am committed to work with the best football and business minds available to enhance player development, facilities, and the fan experience to put AFC Bournemouth in the best possible position to succeed.”