September 9 – Moneyball guru Billy Beane (pictured) has acquired a minority share in Dutch top-flight club AZ Alkmaar. He previously held an advisory role at the Eredivisie outfit.
Beane is the vice president of MLB’s Oakland Athletics, but bought a 5% share in Alkmaar to strengthen his ties with the club, moving away from a merely marginal role.
“I am honoured to formalise my role with AZ and take this next step in being part of the future of the club,” said Beane. ”Working alongside Robert [Eenhoorn, AZ’s general manager] and the rest of the group here over the last five years has been an incredible experience for me and this agreement ensures the relationship will continue for the foreseeable future. I’m proud of all the club has accomplished in recent years and cannot wait to get started working on the future of AZ.”
Beane gained global fame with his Moneyball philosophy, helping his A’s team beat more resourceful rivals in MLB by using detailed sabermetrics to identify undervalued players. Michael Lewis’ book ‘Moneyball’ popularised Beane’s approach.
The American has long nurtured an interest in football and is part of a consortium that owns Championship side Barnsley.
“Over the past five years Billy’s advisory role has brought AZ many advantages,” Eenhoorn said. “In working with him we got to know how wonderful it is to have his breadth and depth of knowledge to our disposal. It has proven to be a true asset. Formalising this through this agreement for us means ensuring a sustainable partnership for the future of AZ. Tapping into Billy’s expertise, experience and his extensive network will in our view prove extremely valuable for the future.”
“Billy’s experience in leading a major American sports organisation, with a limited budget, speaks for itself and he will play an important part in the development of AZ’s vision and strategy going forward.”
Last season, Alkmaar finished second in the league table after the Dutch domestic season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, the club will face Ukraine’s Dynamo Kiev for a place in this Champions League.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600853492labto1600853492ofdlr1600853492owedi1600853492sni@o1600853492fni1600853492