An Irish company listed on the US stock exchange intends to acquire a first division soccer club in Mozambique in the coming months, to develop what it calls "social impact soccer," one of the founders said.
The CEO of Brera Holdings, Daniel McClory, told Lusa news agency he was confident that "by the end of June" a letter of intent or an acquisition agreement in Mozambique would be announced.
The two hypotheses under study are the establishment of a new team or the acquisition of an existing team.
"We spent some time there, met with the Federation and talked to a couple of club owners. Things take time, but I think we will be able to make progress in the first half of this year," he told Lusa.
Mozambique was identified as one of the priority targets in the international expansion plans of this holding company, which dispersed capital through an Initial Public Offering in late January on the Nasdaq index, raising $7.5 million (seven million euros).
Angola, Morocco, Gambia, and Zambia are other African countries in the sights of this group of American and Italian investors, which started the project last year with the acquisition of the Brera FC club, in Italy.
Founded in 2000, it is considered "Milan's third team" after Milan FC and Inter Milan, but instead of Serie A it competes at the regional amateur level.
The investors behind Brera Holdings want to use the Italian club as a springboard to buy a number of teams competing in the top division in small European territories such as Macedonia, Gibraltar, Andorra, San Marino or Liechtenstein.
On Wednesday it disclosed a commitment to purchase the Fudbalski Klub Akademija Pandev in North Macedonia, which in the future will be renamed Brera.
In the coming months it will be the turn of buying a club in Mozambique and getting the management of another one in Argentina, in this case in the third division.
"We're not trying to get to Serie A or the Champions League or anything like that. It's too expensive, it takes too long, it's probably too difficult," McClory stressed, excluding from the plans to invest in countries like Portugal, Spain or the UK.
The strategy, he explained, is to invest in "cheap clubs" but with loyal fans and access to competitions with high prize pools, such as European competitions, to attract good sponsorship deals.
In the case of investments in Africa and South America, the potential lies in developing a network for recruiting young talent that can be sold on advantageous commissions.
Other forms of monetization include creating soccer schools and offering consulting services, while maintaining programs of social intent and support for local communities.
McClory, an American with a background in several investment firms, identifies as his inspiration the model of the British club Manchester City, whose holding company owns ten other teams in countries such as France, China, India, Japan, or Bolivia.
"We absolutely intend to become profitable and to give our investors a return. We are simply doing it from a much more modest standpoint," he pointed out.
One of the investors in Brera Holdings is Chris Gardner, the American millionaire entrepreneur who wrote the autobiography "The Pursuit of Happyness," whose film adaptation had Will Smith as the lead actor.
For McClory, Gardner, who is also recognized as a philanthropist, "personifies the social impact" of this project.
In a veiled reference to the owners of clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool, he makes a point of differentiating himself from "those irrational Americans who show up in Europe and spend hundreds of millions of dollars and think they are going to change everything."
Leave a Reply