Tom Glick, the manager tasked with helping Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly build a network of clubs around the world, spent several months working on similar plans with Crystal Palace investor John Textor, the Guardian can reveal.
Glick, formerly the chief commercial officer of Manchester City owner City Football Group (CFG), has been hired by Boehly to take over Chelsea’s attempts to build a multi-club network, leading to investments in Brazil, Belgium and Portugal could , where Textor has held talks with Benfica and Porto over the potential purchase of large stakes.
It is understood Textor – who bought 40% of Palace last year for £90million and is expected to add French side Lyon to his Eagle Football stable in the coming weeks, which also includes Botafogo in Brazil and the Belgian club RWD Molenbeek own – has been surprised by Chelsea’s attempts to find clubs in the same leagues given his close association with Glick.
Glick was named Chelsea’s business president in July. Less than two months earlier, he was seen alongside Textor at a meeting in São Paulo that confirmed Botafogo’s entry into Brazil’s new Libra league. Glick was described by a Brazilian journalist at the time as a “senior advisor” to Eagle Holdings.
“I brought Tom Glick,” Textor said at the time. “The two of us together brought many perspectives on growth opportunities. Technologies for television, technologies for consumer-oriented applications, digital distribution of content to make it more profitable and viable, with international expansion, and we brought examples of how to make money in a way that Brazilian clubs have never tried before to have. We took lessons from the Premier League.”
Rejected by Brazilian club Santos, where Pelé spent most of his career, Chelsea are reported to have made a late offer to buy Lyon this month, despite Textor agreeing a deal in June.
Textor, who made his fortune in digital technology companies before investing in football, is said to have secured funding from American investment firm Ares Management Corp, which last year bought a 34 percent stake in Atlético Madrid.
Glick was Derby’s chief executive for four years before joining Manchester City in 2012 as chief commercial and operating officer. He took on a similar role at CFG before becoming president of Tepper Sports & Entertainment – the parent company of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and MLS’s Charlotte FC – in 2018.
In a statement announcing Glick’s departure in early February, Tepper Sports — founded by David Tepper, a hedge fund manager with an estimated 16 billion opportunities worth — said.
Glick is believed to have then worked closely with Textor on his plans to buy Lyon from long-time owner and president Jean-Michel Aulas, and was expected to be confirmed as chief executive of Eagle Football Holdings until Chelsea stepped in.
“Tom is an excellent addition to Chelsea FC and will advance our long-term plans for the club,” said Chelsea co-owners Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano in appointing Glick. “He has the experience and credentials to reinforce our significant global reputation and to help us drive our commitment to strengthening the club through investments in squad expansions, infrastructure, technology, the youth academy and women’s team.”
Glick and Textor are expected to be at Selhurst Park on Saturday when Palace host Chelsea in the Premier League.
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