American Billionaire Bill Foley Backs Funding for A-League's New Auckland Franchise


American Billionaire Bill Foley Backs Funding for A-League’s New Auckland Franchise

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An American billionaire who currently owns the English Premier League club Bournemouth has secured the license for the new Auckland franchise set to join the A-League in the upcoming season.

Bill Foley, an individual with an estimated net worth of $US1.6bn ($A2.5bn), has been designated as the “preferred bidder” by the Australian Professional Leagues to spearhead the new Auckland club’s entry into both the A-League men’s and women’s competitions, commencing in the 2024-25 season.

Foley, who serves as the managing general partner of Black Knight Football and Entertainment, possesses ownership stakes in Bournemouth and French top-tier club FC Lorient. Furthermore, he has substantial ties to New Zealand as the owner of numerous Kiwi businesses, including Foley Wines Ltd, a restaurant group, and the Wharekauhau lodge located on the South Wairarapa Coast.

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My family and I have a deep affection for New Zealand,” Foley expressed. “We aim to strengthen this connection by obtaining an A-League expansion license in Auckland, enabling us to establish both a men’s and women’s club in the city. Black Knight Football Club is dedicated to achieving excellence both on and off the field. Our objective is to create a successful organization while simultaneously contributing to the community’s growth and fostering a love for the sport at all levels. We are thrilled to have reached this stage and eagerly anticipate the upcoming developments.

The approval of Foley’s license bid by Football Australia, subsequent endorsement by the Asian and Oceania football confederations, and New Zealand Football are expected. A-League Commissioner Nick Garcia emphasized that Foley would bring “direct elite football experience” to the competition, while highlighting Foley’s passion for Auckland and his established business ties to New Zealand.

Auckland, as the largest city in Australia and New Zealand without a professional football team, holds the promise of a significant new presence in the world of football, considering the sport’s widespread popularity in the region. This development comes on the heels of the successful FIFA Women’s World Cup and is poised to provide Auckland’s football enthusiasts with a dedicated home team.


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