American Football Star Leads US Investors in Hajduk FC

Total Croatia News

The next episode of ‘Americans-invest-in-European-sports’ series might be played in Split! A group of US investors, lead by attorney Michael Glover and American football star Ndamukong Suh arrived in Split to check whether buying out the local football/soccer legend might be a good business move. As daily Slobodna Dalmacija reports, American investors want to buy the majority of shares of Hajduk, a club that is so much more than just a sport in Split.

– We are interested in owning the club, but not just to have shares and do nothing. Our plan is to invest continuously in Hajduk, to regain old fame, build the Hajduk brand, and I believe we have a good chance to do it, Mr. Glover told Slobodna Dalmacija.

Mr. Glover also says he is interested in investing in some other areas, like the Split basketball team, tourism, and infrastructure.

An important member of the investors’ group is Detroit Lions star Ndamukong Suh, the 14th best paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes magazine. He confessedto the Split daily newspaper that he likes European football better than American, no matter how big his career is in USA.

Currently, Hajduk is 63 percent owned by the City of Split, with the rest of the shares divided among minority owners. However, the board was elected by fans, after the city authorities granted that right to their organization named Our Hajduk. Hajduk was founded in 1911, and was one of the best teams in former Yugoslavia. Recently they got into financial difficulties, but it’s still almost a religion to their fans who organized a spectacular centennial celebration two years ago.

Glover and Suh had preliminary talks with Split mayor Ivo Baldasar, but since Hajduk is so much more than just a football club he already announced the possibility of a referendum whether the club should be sold or not. The City is not in very good financial position either, and European Union regulations ban any kind of subsidies by the authorities. Baldasar earlier said he is willing to talk about selling the city’s shares, but wants to keep control of 25 percent plus one share.

– The Americans are waiting for our decision to be made as soon as possible. At the same time, they understand how important Hajduk is for this city, and are willing to wait, Baldasar told Slobodna Dalmacija.


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