Hull City owner Acun Illicali to add Slovenia’s NK Maribor to club portfolio

May 2 – Turkish media tycoon Acun Ilicali, owner of Hull City in the English Championship, has said he plans Slovenia’s NK Maribor, following a series of meetings in Slovenia last week.

Ilicali (pictured), who founded the Turkish-based Acun Medya in 2004, completed the purchase of Hull City in January 2022. The Acun Medya Group has become a significant international production company and broadcast group.

“After researching which club in Slovenia would suit us best, we decided that it was Maribor. I was in Maribor last week, I really liked the city, the stadium and the people who run the club”, Ilicali said.

Saying that they had spent two months researching the club and the Slovenian football market club they, Ilicali added: “I respect other clubs, Mura is very successful, Olimpia is a big name in Europe, but so is Maribor. In the end, a decision needs to be made. The team and I are determined that this is the right project with great fans, great people and a great city.”

“In addition to Hull City, we started looking for another club that would support our project in England, which, of course, is not finished yet, we still want to progress. The basic purpose was to find a smaller team to support the bigger one, i.e. Hull.

“But after a year of meetings and coordination, we changed our approach. We are now looking for a team that can write a similar success story to Hull City. This was more attractive to us because it brings again the possibility to fight for big things in football,” he continued.

“After a long search, we chose Slovenia because I noticed that you are an amazing sports country with huge potential. This is a country that has a very positive attitude towards sports, you have the biggest stars in many global sports, sports is a very important topic for you. Above all, you have a lot of talent, even in football. What is missing on the road to success is good organization and financial support. This is still missing, you have everything else,” Ilicali said in an interview with broadcaster Sportklub.

He expressed his desire to create a family atmosphere in Maribor and was targeting the Europa League or even the Champions League for the club.
“We are glad that Acun Ilicali and his team recognised Maribor as the most successful club and the best brand in Slovenia. We can confirm that we have met and started the initial phase of talks,” said Maribor director Bojan Ban.

“Within the framework of the Slovenian economy and with the sponsorship funds that are available, it is indeed difficult to maintain the project at the desired level, which would combine long-term financial stability with competitive ambitions. After the research carried out and the findings so far after the introductory meetings, the club management is convinced that Mr. Ilicali is a suitable long-term strategic partner who shares our values and ambitions. After the expressed mutual great interest in joint cooperation, the next phase is on the line, with the coordination of the strategy of joint action and the concretization of matters.”

Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1716748929labto1716748929ofdlr1716748929owedi1716748929sni@o1716748929fni1716748929