American billionaire Bill Foley has held provisional talks aimed at investing in Hibernian.
The AFC Bournemouth owner, who also operates the Las Vegas Golden Knights ice hockey team and has a minority shareholding in French club FC Lorient, has spoken on his desire to expand his portfolio into the “tough” Scottish game.
Hibs are currently owned by the family of Ron Gordon, who died earlier this year, and they have no desire to sell the club.
However, they are thought to be open to the possibility of allowing Foley to come on board as a non-controlling investor.
If successful, Hibs would be the third club Foley has invested in through his Black Knight Sports and Entertainment vehicle.
Foley has also been named as the preferred bidder for a license for an A-League team based in Auckland, New Zealand.
“I’m fascinated by the Scottish Premier League,” he told the Men In Blazers podcast in September.
“They play hard, Scots are tough. They play a tough brand of football. And I believe there are opportunities to make one of the number four, five or six SPL [Scottish Premiership] teams, to get them to number three and they play in Europe.
“I believe we can pull that off with not a gigantic investment – and be a minority investor, be supportive of that club, and then work on sponsorship together because we have a whole sponsorship and I know we can help an SPL [sic] team. We’re working towards that goal right now with a particular team.
“Then we have our sights set on some other clubs. And I believe we could end up with four or five economic interests in clubs. We would then have a system in place for players to advance and move on to the next club, then the next club. We will have similar analytics staff in place, and technical directors, to look for the right type of players who can ultimately play for AFC Bournemouth.”
Foley’s move to invest in Hibs comes just as the Scottish Football Association looks into relaxing rules that ban an organisation or individual having a controlling stake in two clubs at the same time.
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