The Athletic have revealed that former Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has been appointed to the board of a US-listed company that has been set up to invest in European football, with an unnamed Premier League club understood to be top of its wish list.
RedBall Acquisition Corp’s founders had been hoping to raise $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO) last week but high demand from investors meant underwriters sold another $75 million’s worth of shares, bringing the total to $575 million (almost £440 million).
One of the most influential and interesting figures on the board of this company is an entrepreneur and huge sports fan Billy Beane. Billy who? I hear you ask. Well if you’ve seen a movie called “Moneyball” then you’ll know exactly who he has. If you haven’t seen it then you should.
It recounts the way Beane went about re-inventing the Oakland Athletics Baseball Team taking them from virtual no-hopers to play-off contenders with his business acumen and eye for a deal. It’s a fascinating as well as a superbly entertaining watch and the book is even better.
Moneyball is one of my favourite movies and I believe that if Billy Beane were interested in NUFC that would be a game-changer (and you’ll see where I’mg going with this in a second). Yes, it would be an investment but he’d want success as well and would do it in the right way for all parties concerned if past history is anything to go by.
Whilst there is no direct link confirmed as of yet, the reliable Henry Winter (The Times) tweeted back in June that there was another US group looking seriously at NUFC. Beane and his guys have big money behind them and want an unnamed PL club it seems.
As you can see below, he said a “US group with GB ties, who have long-term interest in club, who have funds in place, watching delay with keen interest,” and then goes on to say they’re “absolutely serious.” Winter also says NUFC is a prized possession and target and will be sold to someone eventually:
A ‘British source in football takeover business’ also said this to The Athletic in their piece on Scudamore/Beane – “If they can leverage more money, £300 million on Newcastle United looks like a bargain,”.
This group certainly have the money and the business clout and let’s face it NUFC are an absolute ripe cherry ready for picking and Billy Beane may just be the man with Scudamore’s knowledge to make it happen.
He also likes an underdog. After his initial success he had the chance to sign-off an open cheque from a major player in American Baseball as he was courted by “Liverpool FC’s” John Henry to take over at the Boston Red Sox. He turned it down to stay with the Athletics.
All this is hypothetical I know and often when these things come about it always seems to be a London-based Club involved. But joining the dots it could either be that A) these are the other US group keen or B) these are people Staveley and the Reubens could approach as PIF / Saudi involvement seem to be creating the sticking point.
Now, it’s easy for me to say as I have little money and am definitely biased but if I was Amanda Staveley and The Reubens I’d be all over this like a rash particularly as the Saudi’s don’t seem as if they are willing to come back to the table.
But then in this crazy mixed-up saga with rumour and counter-rumour flying about how are we not to know that this could be a way out? Once again, we can but hope.