August 16 – After a decade of involvement, Brentford owner Matthew Benham is stepping away from FC Midtjylland in Denmark, selling his majority stake to Danish businessman Anders Holch Povlsen. Benham’s Smartodds however will keep supplying the club with data.
Holch Povlsen will become the de facto owner of the club, with 95.5% of the club’s shares. No value was given for the share sale.
Under Benham’s tenure, the club won the domestic league title three times and debuted in the Champions League, only to finish bottom of their group. Above all, Benham, at least on the surface, considered Midtjylland as a lab to test out ideas and share know-how and knowledge with Brentford, who have become a mainstay in the Premier League.
“When I invested in FC Midtjylland in 2014, it was because I believed that there was unfulfilled potential and that I could help move the club to the next level,” said Benham in a statement on Midtjylland’s website. “It has been a fun and exciting journey with many highlights and memorable moments as well as the development and sale of great talent.
“I have been very impressed by the club, where I felt welcome from day one. I quickly became part of the family, and there is a culture that has made it possible to implement the ideas I came up with, and which we have since then built on and developed together to the delight of both FC Midtjylland and Brentford FC. I am full of respect for the work that has been done over the past nine years.
“For the past two years, I have had a fantastic collaboration with Heartland on the development of FC Midtjylland, and I have no doubt that the club will now be taken over by the right owner. It makes me safe, happy and proud that I can leave FC Midtjylland in a better place than when I took over, and I would like to thank everyone I have worked with and met along the way. I will continue to follow the club closely.”
Holch Povlsen is one of Denmark’s richest businessmen and the onus will be on his club to wrestle the tag of leading club from FC Copenhagen. The club has also acquired majority shares in Portuguese side CD Mafra, who play in the second division.
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