Americans and Italians prepare to acquire club in Mozambique

An Irish company listed on the North American stock exchange intends to acquire a first division football club in Mozambique in the coming months, to develop what it calls “social impact football”, said one of the founders. 

executive chairman of the board of directors of Brera Holdings, Daniel McClory, told the Lusa agency that he was confident that “by the end of June” a letter of intent or an acquisition agreement in Mozambique would be announced.

The two hypotheses under study are the establishment of a new team or the acquisition of an existing team.

“We spent some time there, met with the Federation and spoke with a couple of club owners. Things take time, but I think we will be able to make progress in the first half of this year,” he told Lusa.

Mozambique was identified as one of the priority targets in the international expansion plans of this holding, which dispersed capital through an Initial Public Offering at the end of January on the Nasdaq index, raising 7.5 million dollars (seven million euros).

Angola, Morocco, Gambia and Zambia are other African countries in the sights of this group of North American and Italian investors, who began the project last year with the acquisition of the Brera FC club, in Italy.

Founded in 2000, it is considered “Milan’s third team”, after Milan FC and Inter Milan, but instead of Serie A it competes at regional amateur level.

The investors behind Brera Holdings want to use the Italian club as a springboard to buy a series of teams competing in the first division in small European territories such as Macedonia, Gibraltar, Andorra, San Marino or Liechtenstein.

On Wednesday it released a commitment to purchase the Fudbalski Klub Akademija Pandev in North Macedonia, which in the future will be renamed Brera.

In the coming months it will be time to buy a club in Mozambique and manage another in Argentina, in this case in the third division.

“We’re not trying to get to Serie A or the Champions League or anything like that. It’s too expensive, it takes too long, it’s probably too difficult”, said McClory, excluding investment in countries like Portugal, Spain or the United Kingdom from his plans.

The strategy, he explained, is to invest in “cheap clubs”, but with loyal fans and access to competitions with high prizes, such as European competitions, in order to attract good sponsorship contracts.

In the case of investments in Africa and South America, the potential lies in developing a recruitment network of young talents that can be sold with advantageous commissions.

Other forms of monetization include the creation of football schools and the offering of consultancy services, while maintaining social programs and support for local communities.

McClory, an American with a background in several investment firms, identifies as inspiration the model of the British club Manchester City, whose holding company has ten other teams in countries such as France, China, India, Japan or Bolivia.

“We have the absolute intention of becoming profitable and giving a return to our investors. We are simply doing it from a much more modest point of view”, he highlighted.

One of the investors in Brera Holdings is Chris Gardner, an American millionaire entrepreneur who wrote the autobiography “The Pursuit of Happyness”, whose film adaptation had Will Smith as the main actor.

For McClory, Gardner, also recognized as a philanthropist, “personifies the social impact” of this project.

In a veiled reference to the owners of clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool, he makes a point of differentiating himself from “those irrational Americans who show up in Europe and spend hundreds of millions of dollars and think they’re going to change everything

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