It’s not every day you hear about an English League Two soccer team being bought by an American investment firm—particularly not one in Birmingham, Alabama. But yesterday, that happened when the Trivela Group purchased a 51% share in Walsall Football Club. If you’re like me, you’ve got a lot of questions. Don’t worry—we’ve got answers.
First, a few facts about Walsall FC + their new owners
- What is Walsall FC: A professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England, which competes in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system.
- Where is Walsall: According to Wikipedia, Walsall is in England’s West Midlands, near Birmingham and Wolverhampton—two cities whose names will be familiar to English football (aka soccer) fans.
- New owners: Trivela Group LLC, a sports investment group founded by Canadian-born Benjamin Boycott and Kenneth Polk, Founder and CEO of Arlington Family Offices, which serves individual families and has over USD 12 billion in capital under advisement.
- Trivela Group LLC’s Executive Leadership team—according to the Club’s website, these folks will support the Football Club both on and off the pitch:
- Ben Boycott, Managing Director
- Wesley Hill, VP of Operations and Strategic Partnerships
- Matt Jordan, VP of Global Football
- William Boycott, VP of Project Management
- New Walsall FC co-chairs: Benjamin Boycott + Leigh Pomlett. Pomlett was the majority owner until yesterday, and will stay on as co-chair for four years to ensure a smooth transition.
Who is Benjamin Boycott + Trivela Group LLC?
Born in Eastern Canada, he’s currently living near Birmingham, Alabama with a background in finance, investments and organizational leadership. Their reasons for founding Trivela include:
- They believe in value investing.
- They believe in investing in thing that matter in the world and matter in communities.
- They believe in investing in things that last and will stand the test of time.
- They believe in investing in things where they can make a meaningful impact.
“We’re very passionate about the game of football and we’re very passionate about the impact that the game can have in local communities like Walsall so we patiently set out to evaluate opportunities and make an investment in a football club.”Ben Boycott
Why Walsall FC?
About a year ago, Boycott was introduced to Walsall FC’s Chairman and CEO, and they’ve gone through a lengthy process to get to yesterday’s announcement.
“It was an easy decision once we started to get in and understand that the very first thing that attracted us was just the the passion and the energy that this town has for this football club is really special—it’s really unique.
We feel very responsible as stewards of that going forward. The club has maintained its position in the English Football League (EFL) while being financially sustainable which is a very difficult set of things to do—it’s a testament to the leadership on the board and the staff. There’s so much potential at this football club when you look at the infrastructure, where we are in the league table and in the EFL at large vs. where we could be. You look at the academy and the supporters’ club—there’s just so much untapped potential here and we’re very excited to be a small part of taking this club into the next chapter.”Ben Boycott
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