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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Golden Knights Owner Adds Club to Growing Soccer Empire

  • Bill Foley is closing in on a deal for Ligue 1 club Lorient.
  • The Vegas Golden Knights owner is aiming to grow a portfolio of soccer teams.
Lorient
FC Lorient

The owner of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights has a rapidly growing presence in European soccer.

Bill Foley has finalized a deal to purchase a 33.3% stake in Ligue 1 club FC Lorient. The team, which was founded in 1926 and promoted from Ligue 2 in the 2019-20 season, is currently in sixth place in the 20-team table.

  • Foley is expected to take full control of Lorient at a later date. 
  • He was approved as the new owner of Premier League club AFC Bournemouth on Dec. 13.
  • He claimed at that time to also be in talks for a club in Belgium’s top league.

Foley intends to build a multi-team network to facilitate player transfers.

“The next step will be a South American team — whether it’s Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, or Argentina, I’m not sure yet,” he explained. “I need to make sure the economics are right.”

Man City Model

Certain soccer team owners have become more interested in a multi-team model in which some operations are centralized and players can be transferred between clubs relatively easily.

The model is perhaps most associated with City Football Group, which owns or partners with 11 clubs including Manchester City, New York City Football Club, Melbourne City, and Yokohama F. Marinos.

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