Vegas Golden Knights owner plans to buy Premier League football team

Posted: September 18, 2022, 7:11 a.m.

Last update on: September 18, 2022, 07:11h.

As English Premier League football team AFC Bournemouth struggle to find their footing, they could soon have a new owner. The man who helped bring ice hockey to Vegas, Bill Foley, is reportedly interested in buying the team.

Kieffer Moore
EPL football team AFC Bournemouth’s Kieffer Moore on the pitch during a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in August. Bill Foley, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, negotiates the purchase of Moore’s team. (Image: Getty Images)

The Premier League is one of the richest leagues in the world, moving millions of pounds lately. This is a significant market opportunity for entrepreneurs looking for new investments, with several big deals like the sale of Chelsea emerging in recent times.

Today, almost half of the top teams in British football have US-based owners, whether through individuals or companies. Foley, the majority owner of the Vegas Golden Knights, is looking to be next. He is discussing this possibility with the team’s current owner, Russian Maxim Demin.

Shaking things up in the UK

Bournemouth play in the British Premier League, currently sitting in 12th place. As revealed by Sky Sports and other outlets, Foley has expressed an interest in acquiring 100% of the shares in the team.

A possible purchase figure of over €170 million (US$170.25 million) has emerged. It’s similar to the amount Demin invested to stay with the club in 2011. However, that was long before his country decided to invade Ukraine.

Demin’s desire to sell Bournemouth is nothing new. He has listened to the club’s sale offers over the past year, according to the media. However, none have been of the caliber of Foley’s, who have tried to buy a club before.

Bournemouth sacked manager Scott Parker last month after just four Premier League dates. His last two games have been defeats as the club continues to search for a new manager.

The search is delayed by negotiations with Foley. If all goes well, the sale of the English club could take place before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

A few years ago, Foley showed interest in acquiring shares in French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon. Additionally, last year he was involved in early discussions with MLS regarding bringing a football team to Vegas.

However, the deal fell apart and the league are now discussing a new exclusive deal with Aston Villa owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris. If they reach an agreement, the new team could become the Las Vegas Villains.

More value for Bournemouth

Bournemouth, who recently signed gambling operator Dafabet as their shirtfront sponsor, could benefit from Foley’s involvement. He has helped the Golden Knights rise in value every year and perhaps could do the same for Bournemouth.

The NHL team was worth $500 million in 2017, according to Statista. It added $25 million the following year and another $5 million in 2019. Although the value dipped slightly in 2020 (to $570 million), it jumped to $710 million last year.

The performance could also be the result of the involvement of the Maloof family, the founders and former owners of the Palm Casino Resort. The family owns 30% of the Golden Knights.

Negotiations between Foley and Demin are reportedly at an advanced stage. Should the sale get the green light from the Premier League and regulators, Foley Demin could possibly hand over the keys ahead of this year’s World Cup.

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