Vegas Golden Knights Owner Eyes Premier League Soccer Team Purchase

Posted on: September 18, 2022, 07:11h. 

Last updated on: September 19, 2022, 03:08h.

As English Premier League soccer team AFC Bournemouth could soon have a new owner. The man who helped bring ice hockey to Vegas, Bill Foley, is reportedly interested in buying the team.

Kieffer Moore
Kieffer Moore of the EPL soccer team AFC Bournemouth on the field during a game against the Wolverhampton Wanderers in August. Bill Foley, the owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, is negotiating a purchase of Moore’s team. (Image: Getty Images)

Foley, the majority owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, is currently discussing the possibility with the team’s current owner, Russian Maxim Demin.

Demin’s has entertained several offers to sell Bournemouth during the past year, according to media reports, and if everything goes well this time, the English club sale could occur before the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

The Premier League is one of the richest leagues in the world, moving millions of pounds in recent times. It’s an important market opportunity for entrepreneurs looking for new investments, with several big deals like the Chelsea sale emerging recently.

Almost half of the UK’s top soccer flight teams have US-based owners, either through individuals or companies.

Ironing Out the Details

Several media outlets have revealed that Foley is interested in acquiring 100% of the team’s shares. That could cost him more than €170 million (US$170.25 million). This is close to the purchase price Demin put in to stay with the club in 2011. However, that was well before his country decided to invade Ukraine.

Several years ago, Foley showed interest in acquiring the shares of French Ligue 1 team Olympique Lyon. Last year, he was involved in early talks with the MLS about bringing a soccer team to Vegas. However, that deal fell apart, and the league is now discussing a new exclusive deal with the owners of Aston Villa, Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris. Should they reach an agreement, the new team could become the Las Vegas Villains.

Bournemouth sacked manager Scott Parker last month after just four dates in the Premier League. Its last two games have been losses as the club continues to search for a new manager. Negotiations with Foley delay that search.

More Value for Bournemouth

Bournemouth, which recently signed gaming operator Dafabet as its front-of-shirt sponsor, could benefit from Foley’s involvement. He has helped the Golden Knights improve in value each year and might be able to do the same for Bournemouth.

The NHL team was worth $500 million in 2017, according to Statista. It added $25 million the next year and another $5 million in 2019. Although the value dipped slightly in 2020 (to $570 million), it jumped to $710 million last year.

The performance could also be the result of the involvement of the Maloof family, the founders and former owners of the Palm Casino Resort. The family owns 30% of the Golden Knights.

The negotiations between Foley and Demin are reportedly in the advanced stage. Should the sale get the green light from the Premier League and regulators, Foley Demin could conceivably hand over the keys before this year’s World Cup.