January 4 – The £120 million majority sale of Premier League Burnley to Velocity Sports Partners (VSP), the sports investment arm of ALK Capital, was completed just before the start of the New Year.
VSP has taken a controlling 84% stake in the club, with ALK managing partner Alan Pace becoming Burnley chairman. Pace takes over from Mike Garlick who remains on the board along with other former shareholder John Banaszkiewicz.
“Today marks a new era for Burnley as we become stewards of this historic football club and build on the impressive work that Mike Garlick, Sean Dyche and everyone at Burnley has done to make it a financially stable, established Premier League club that is a cornerstone of the local community,” said Pace.
“With a rich heritage, a brilliant academy, and a passionate fan base, this club has solid foundations to build upon. This is the start of an exciting journey for the entire Clarets family.”
The new ownership immediately pledged funds for player acquisitions in the new transfer window. “We have been very, very big fans of Sean for some time,’ said Pace. “The longevity and stability of the management side has been something that has been very impactful from our perspective of the playing style and ability to perform at the level that they have.”
Burnley become the sixth English Premier League club to come under majority American ownership alongside Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Fulham and Crystal Palace. They could be followed Southampton who have – for several months – been working their way through a £200 million deal with Miami-based US sports investor Joe DaGrosa, though doubts that DaGrosa can raise the cash are mounting.
Pace is a dual British-American national, and was formerly a Managing Director and Global Head of Sales for Securities Services at Citi, and a previous CEO of MLS franchise Real Salt Lake. ALK has recently entered the European sports market with two strategic investments in London-based football technology businesses AiScout and Player LENS.
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