Investment group

US investment group chief attacks SFA over threat from Rangers, Celtic


US investment group chief Paul Conway has claimed his Pacific Media Group consortium could shatter the Rangers-Celtic duopoly in Scotland – if the SFA let them buy a club.

The American businessman and his group of investors have been very busy in recent years signing Barnsley in England, AS Nancy in France, KV Oostende in Belgium, Den Bosch in the Netherlands, Esbjerg in Denmark and FC Thun in Swiss with their voluminous portfolio. clubs.

US investment group Pacific Media Group has a range of interesting parties involved with Conway joining Chinese billionaire Chien Lee and Billy Beane, the former baseball player played by Brad Pitt in the movie “Moneyball” in the group. [Times].

Despite attempts to add Partick Thistle, Livingston or Dundee to the stable, these collapsed last year when the SFA capped the cap for owners of other clubs at 24.9%.

According to Conway, if the rules were relaxed, his Pacific Media Group could build a team capable of challenging the dominance of the Old Firm duopoly north of the border.

It is thanks to the famous method of “Moneyball” and the American businessman cites the example of the KV Oostende club to justify the eccentric claims.

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“If we had a Scottish club, we could challenge the Celtic-Rangers duopoly 100%,” said US investment group chief Conway. daily mail.

“Look at our Belgian example. With the lowest budget in the league in Ostend, we finished fifth. We now have a 24-27 year old squad, we are competitive again this year – and why? This is because our biggest source of cash flow is player trading.

“Think about it and the world’s largest shopping market is just a few miles south of the border.

“So if you have a group of young attacking players you can buy a mid-sized club and with the trading profits you can be competitive.

“The way it’s set up now, you’ve got the old company that has control of the league and no strategic investment is going to go into these other clubs.

“Part of the problem is that the old company, as I understand it, doesn’t want to encourage foreign investment because it has an anti-competitive duopoly.

“You pick Hearts or Hibs or any other mid-sized club and they obviously can’t compete because of the difference in match day income.

No one has broken the Old Firm duopoly since Sir Alex Ferguson did it with Aberdeen in 1985 (Photo by Sunday Mail / Mirrorpix / Getty Images)

“But that can be fixed immediately if they generate £ 10-15million in transfer profit like Ostend.

“We entered Belgium and in our first year the transfer income was twice what we paid for the club the year before.

“We sold Jack Hendry. We also sold Arthur Theate in Bologna, Italy for £ 6.5million after giving him away for free the year before.

“So if you bring in a strategic investor to recapitalize a team outside of the old company and those teams generate transfer profits, guess what? The league is going to get a lot more competitive.

“And that will overshadow anything you can do to make any business improvements to the league. It will also give you a chance to get bigger TV rights.

As an independent review of the SPFL is launched by some of the member clubs, a conversation is ongoing on how to bring more money to Scottish football.


The US investment group Pacific Media Group is said to have investors from the US and China. (Photo credit should read MARK SCHIEFELBEIN / AFP via Getty Images)

Aberdeen, Dundee, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibs have launched the review with the aim of doubling revenues in Scotland to over £ 50million [AFC].

Conway believes Scotland will be left behind if it doesn’t follow countries like Holland and relax its rules, with the Dutch move allowing Pacific Media Group to buy Den Bosch.

“I’ll tell anyone about it.” Tell those clubs to call me or whatever works, ”Conway said.

“I’ve already spoken to the American guys from Dundee. But I’m happy to talk to anyone about ideas for change.

“We looked at probably four opportunities to buy a club in Scotland and finally gave up. It just doesn’t work for us or someone like us and we’re so fed up with it that we went to four other countries.

“We now have clubs in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland.

Rangers v Aberdeen - Scottish Premiership

Can any other club beat the Rangers Celtic Championship duopoly? (Photo by Ian MacNicol / Getty Images)

“Scottish football is falling behind. And either you get on that bus or the league continues to suffer compared to other leagues.

“The Dutch league opened up to strategic investors in January and if you are an American investor you will definitely be going to Holland long before you go to Scotland.”

It’s certainly an interesting take and whatever happens you have a feeling Scottish football is going to change soon as the rest of the clubs start to get frustrated with his leadership.

The Rangers’ run-ins with FBCL in particular are certainly not news and the latest to emerge from a dispute with the title sponsor offered a flashback to a former billionaire Ibrox investor.

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