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Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are all hoping to become multi-club networks

Arsenal and Liverpool owners have joined Chelsea’s Todd Boehly in an attempt to create a multi-club network developed by Manchester City owner City Football Group.

Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke – who already owns an MLS team – and his Liverpool counterpart John W. Henry are understood to have considered adding clubs inside and outside of Europe to their portfolios after Boehly hinted he would would like to start what he called “a multi-club model”. Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are American-owned.

City Football Group, owned by Abu Dhabi United Group, has clubs in 11 countries, including three in Europe: Spanish side Girona, Lommel of Belgium and French side Troyes.

It is believed that Boehly has started to find other clubs to invest in after he was reportedly turned down by Brazilian club Santos, where Pele spent most of his career. He is understood to have instructed Chelsea’s new business president Tom Glick to lead the process, which could lead to investments in clubs in the Belgian and Portuguese leagues. They and Brazil are seen as potentially lucrative sources of young players, with Boehly believed to have consulted Jorge Mendes to find out which clubs in the Portuguese agent’s home country could be considered.

Kroenke, who owns the likes of MLS’s Colorado Rapids, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and NFL champions Los Angeles Rams, is also said to have been exploring the possibility of acquiring clubs in Brazil, Belgium and Portugal . While Arsenal sources have downplayed any immediate plans, it is believed the club are looking to expand their existing ties with the South American country in particular. Arsenal were cleared of abusive dealings with Belgian club Beveren following a Fifa investigation in 2006 – before Kroenke’s involvement.

Manchester City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano in India after Mumbai City FC became part of City Football Group in November 2019.
Manchester City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano in India after Mumbai City FC became part of City Football Group in November 2019. Photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group owns baseball’s Boston Red Sox, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and last year sold a large stake in RedBird Capital – the company that bought Italian champions Milan for $1.1bn in August toulouse It goes without saying that FSG would like to expand this stable. A spokesman for the FSG declined to comment.

The ability to help players from weaker leagues qualify for work permits in the UK using their network is another key factor behind the growing interest in the multi-club model, which has seen the introduction of Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) -rules after Brexit The process is much more complicated for Premier League clubs. According to a study by Athletic, nine Premier League clubs – Arsenal, Brentford, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and West Ham – have ties to 25 clubs in Europe and beyond.

Uefa regulations prohibit clubs from entering European competitions that “hold or deal in the securities or shares of another participating club”, although this does not apply where a person with a 100 per cent stake in a club exercises “non-decisive influence” Has. Joining another club in the same competition.

“We will continue to add resources,” Boehly said at the Salt Conference earlier this month. “We talked about having a multi-club model. I would like to expand the footprint further. There are different countries where there are advantages to having a club. Red Bull is doing a really good job in Leipzig and Salzburg, who both play in the Champions League, so they figured out how it works. You have Man City, which has a very large network of clubs.

He added: “I think the challenge that Chelsea or any of them have now is that you can loan 18-, 19-, 20-year-old superstars to other clubs, but you invest their development in someone else’s hands . I think our goal is to make sure we can show our young superstars ways to get onto the Chelsea pitch while also giving them real playing time. For me that beats another club somewhere in a really competitive league in Europe.”

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