June 9 – Turkish media tycoon Acun Ilicali (pictured), owner of Hull City in the English Championship, bought a majority shareholding in Shelbourne FC, one of the oldest clubs in the Irish Premier League.
The Turkish businessman had explored takeovers of St Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk before focusing on Shelbourne.
Ilicali owns TV channels TV8 and TV8.5, and Turkey’s digital platform Exxen. He is the founder and director of ACUNMEDYA, an international television production company and the owner of Exatlon, the world’s first sports reality television show.
The Turkish businessman’s investments in football began in 2022, when he bought 60% of the shares of the Dutch Fortuna Sittard, paying €8 million. A year later he ditched Fortuna Sittard after deciding to invest in England’s Hull City, paying £20 million for Hull City’s shares.
“Our investments in football started with Hull City FC and now continue at full speed with the acquisition of the majority shares of Shelbourne FC, one of the strongest and most respected clubs in the Irish League Premier Division. Our goal is to build a team which is competitive in European Cups and achieve significant success by recruiting and developing young talents. We have absolute faith in Irish football, Shelbourne and our amazing fans,” wrote Ilicali on Twitter.
A statement from the club said: “Shelbourne Football Club has announced that Acun Illicali has become the majority shareholder of the club. Acun Illicali has founded one of the biggest independent media and entertainment companies, empowered with the vision to deliver inspiring and creative content worldwide. This investment will be used to support the growth and development of the club by investing in the men’s and women’s first teams, the academy, and its facilities with an ambition to make Shelbourne FC Ireland’s most successful football club.
“The deal is expected to bring additional benefit as it will create material synergy between Shelbourne FC and Hull City FC, which is fully owned by Acun Illicali. After the investment, existing shareholders will continue to be investors in the Club and the parties will collaborate closely for the future success of the club.”
No value was given for the acquisition.
Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1701539979labto1701539979ofdlr1701539979owedi1701539979sni@o1701539979fni1701539979