March 30 – Nigerian tech entrepreneur Shola Akinlade (pictured) has acquired a majority stake in Danish second-division club Aarhus Fremad through his American company Decimal Sport.
Akinlade obtained 55% of the shares in Aarhus saying that the acquisition was inspired by other Danish clubs that have had success in bringing African players to Denmark.
Living in North Carolina, the Nigerian is the founder of Paystack, a software platform that helps African businesses receive payments electronically. Paystack was later taken over by the American IT company Stripe.
Aarhus Fremad and Akinlade had begun talks in 2022 and the Nigerian, who also owns Sporting Lagos at home, wants to see both his clubs prosper.
“These are also long-term projects that I have known about for the past three, four or five years,” explained Aklinade. I think these are good projects. Projects are different and ours differs from the others in that we have a team that plays in the best league in Nigeria. We have the ambition to become the best team in Africa and play in the African edition of the Champions League.”
“We have great ambitions for the team, and it requires a lot of help from the team in Denmark if we are to achieve them.”
Lars Kruse will continue as CEO at the club. “It has been an exciting process from when I first heard that people had spotted us in Fremad all the way from Nigeria to where we are now,” said Kruse. “That there are people with their hearts in the right place, who also see football as a catalyst for a lot of other things, is fantastic.”
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Akinlade is the latest foreign investor who has entered the Danish market with the hope of building a thriving feeder club. The challenge for Akinlade is that Aarhus Fremad’s set-up is merely semi-professional with a small catchment area and limited youth development.
No value was given for the acquisition.
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