An American and an Egyptian walk into a bar and… buy 56% of Aston Villa
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’d know that something pretty big has happened at our beloved club recently, and no, I’m not talking about winning the Bass Vase Trophy…
That is right, Dr Tony Xia has found new investment and fears of administration have now been fought off as NSWE (a company co founded by Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens) have invested £50m of their money into the club which has seen Xia become co-chairman (for now…)
Firstly, £50m is an absolute steal for a club the size of ours, especially considering Xia spent £52m upfront for the club… Sawiris and Ednes are laughing. But what can we expect from our new investors?
As well as being a new co owner of Villa, Edens purchased Wisconsin’s very own NBA franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks for $550m in 2014 with Mark Lasry. So we know that Mr Edens understands how to run a club, and has a serious amount of money. It is reported that Edens has a net worth of around £5 billion.
Back to the Bucks, according to Villa’s official announcement in the 2014/15 season, the Bucks received the “fourth largest year-on-year increase in ticket sales across NBA” – a clear strategy has been put in place to ensure large season ticket sales. Of course we have already hit the 20,000 mark (apparently) for season tickets, but with investment in the club, there will be more people who are willing purchase a season ticket. Whilst the investment might not be on the pitch (right away) due to our FFP constraints, Edens invested heavily in a new basketball arena in Wisconsin which will open in August of 2018. With someone who’s invested so heavily in the franchise, it would be interesting to see if there will be any investment into developing the areas around Villa Park.
Wes Edens also founded his own eSports Franchise (FlyQuest) back in 2017 which compete in League of Legends (more appropriately abbreviated to LOL). Whilst this may seem random, Villa have also been looking to recruit a competitive eSports FIFA player. Regardless of what you think about eSports and Villa branching out to the ever growing industry, it seems like we will be in safe hands with Edens.
Nassef Sawiris also has his fingers in a lot of pies, as listed in the clubs official statement he is a “CEO of OCI N.V., a €5.3bn Dutch-listed global nitrogen fertilizer and industrial chemicals producer, Executive Chairman of the topco for the NNS Group, a prominent investment company focused on building long-term strategic equity stakes in high growth, sector leading companies” whilst both of these projects are interesting in different ways, its this which caught my eye about the Bruins Sports Capital…
“Bruins Sports Capital was established to acquire, build and invest in media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle companies”. This us extremely interesting as someone both someone who produces fan content and a consumer of sports content in general, it seems we might be seeing some changes in terms of content that is delivered to us fans by the club. Xia mentioned his desires of a streaming service, his dreams may now become a reality.
With Sawiris’ knowledge on the power of the media I’m hooping we can see more connections from within the club to collaborate with fan media. It is fantastic to see that MOMS, VitalVilla and TVV all receiving emails through the FCG from both Edens and Sawiris, acknowledging and empowering fan media through communication and collaboration will only improve the atmosphere around the club. The sky is the limit with new investment injected into our beloved club
This isn’t set in stone, but based of both Edens and Sawiris both have experience in different fields which might (as I have said) see improvements in Aston around the ground and in the media department, with (hopefully) more interesting content coming from the club!
Whilst you are here, I’d love it if you Tweeted me your thoughts on the current regime at the Villa, Tweet me at @danmorgi34! Also we would really appreciate it if you checked out our latest video on our YouTube channel, from our 4-0 victory over Burton Albion the other day. Thank you!
Categories: Opinion Piece