Timeshare: The new era of soccer

Noticias > Timeshare: The new era of soccer

Nowadays, the number of sheikhs, businessmen, tycoons or investment consortiums exerting influence over two or more soccer clubs is increasing all the time. In some instances, they have as many as 13 teams under their domain, distributed in different leagues, nations and continents, this is known as “multi-ownership”.

The Manchester City empire or Red Bull are the best known, but there are more and more tycoons or sheikhs with many soccer clubs in their portfolios.

A phenomenon that used to be isolated several decades ago, as in the case of ENIC, has now become common and its presence continues to increase. “We start with the example of City, which controls 11 clubs, and we look at giants such as Red Bull, Red Bird or 777 Partners. Multi-ownership of clubs is an emerging phenomenon; soccer is more dynamic than ever and attracts a growing number of investors,” said Andrea Agnelli at the Shareholders’ Meeting that marked his farewell to Juventus.

However, according to UEFA’s annual report ‘The European Club Footballing Landscape’, it warns that multi-property “could pose a palpable threat to the integrity of European club competitions”. It is noted that two teams with shared, or partially shared, ownership are increasingly likely to meet on the field.

A recent example of this phenomenon is the case of Savinho. Troyes, a team belonging to the City Group, acquired the player for €6.5 million from Atletico Mineiro in the summer of 2022. He subsequently loaned him to PSV Eindhoven and this summer made a similar deal with Girona (also part of the City Group). As of July 1, without having made his debut with Troyes, the Brazilian player will join the most prominent club under the umbrella of the City Group, Manchester City. This chain of movements is causing concern in many circles within the soccer world. However, it is important to note that the timeshare phenomenon goes far beyond the City Group.

In 2008, the Abu Dhabi United Group acquired Manchester City, transforming the Premier League narrative. The ‘cityzens’, backed by the financial clout of the Persian Gulf state, emerged as a power in both England and Europe. This rise materialized thanks to the direct and indirect economic contributions of the United Arab Emirates. Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister and a member of the country’s ruling family, heads the City Group, which also has Chinese and U.S. investors.

Under the umbrella of the City Group, there are several clubs around the world, extending its global influence:

– Manchester City (Manchester, England)

– New York City (New York, U.S.A.)

– Montevideo City Torque (Montevideo, Uruguay)

– Troyes AC (Troyes, France)

– Girona FC (Girona, Spain)

– Lommel SK (Lommel, Belgium)

– Mumbai City FC (Mumbai, India)

– Yokohama F. Marinos (Yokohama, Japan)

– Sichuan Jiuniu FC (Chengdu, China)

– Melbourne City FC (Melbourne, Australia)

– Palermo FC (Palermo, Italy)- Club Bolivar (La Paz, Bolivia) – strategic partner

Manchester City, in its early years, stood as a historic club in the shadow of United in its own city. Although in the 1960s and 1970s it managed to establish itself among the elite of English soccer, it was not until 2008, with the arrival of Abu Dhabi, that its metamorphosis to greatness began. Since 2013, the City Football Group has woven a global network, first in America (New York City), then in Australia (Melbourne City) and later in Asia (Yokohama F. Marinos). It currently has 12 clubs scattered across five continents, each with varying degrees of connection.

The jewel in the crown remains the team from Manchester. City has evolved into one of the top teams on the planet. Since 2008, it has lifted 17 trophies, reaching the Champions League final in 2021, and has attracted stars such as Haaland, Agüero, Silva and De Bruyne. Pep Guardiola successfully leads from the bench. They have redefined the pecking order in both the Premier League and the European soccer landscape. Clubs affiliated with the City Football Group are also at the top of their respective countries or aspire to reach that status in the near future.

On the other hand, passion for sport has always been a priority for Red Bull, the leading energy drink brand that has generated considerable revenue for its founders: Austrian businessman Dietrich Mateschitz and Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya. These visionaries have successfully channeled their earnings into a variety of sporting ventures, from extreme disciplines such as BMX, skiing and flying, to winning Formula 1, where they have been crowned constructors’ champions on multiple occasions and have seen drivers such as Vettel and Verstappen take victory. Red Bull’s foray into soccer has left a global footprint, with strategically placed clubs:

– RB Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany)

– Red Bull Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria)

– Red Bull Bragantino (Bragança Paulista, Brazil) – New York Red Bull (New York, U.S.A.)

In 2005, Red Bull acquired the Austrian club SV Austria Salzburg, renaming it Red Bull Salzburg. Subsequently, they transformed the destinies of the MetroStars by purchasing it and turning it into the New York Red Bulls. In 2007, Red Bull ventured into Brazil with the acquisition of Red Bull Bragantino, and in 2009 they made a bold move by buying SSV Markranstadt Leipzig, which was in the fifth tier of German soccer, renaming it RB Leipzig. In 2017, they were already competing in the Bundesliga and have since participated in five editions of the Champions League. Despite being considered “public enemy number one” in German soccer, the project has proven to be successful. Oliver Mintzlaff has held the position of Global Head of Football at the Red Bull GmbH empire since 2014.

RB Leipzig’s rise has been particularly remarkable, establishing itself as an elite team in the Bundesliga and making five appearances in the Champions League, winning its first DFB Pokal title last season. For their part, RB Salzburg have dominated unchallenged in Austria, celebrating the title on 13 consecutive occasions. In addition, its effective talent scouting system has identified future stars such as Haaland, Mané, Kimmich, Nkunku, Konaté, Keïta, and the exchange of players between Salzburg and Leipzig has significantly strengthened the German club.