An American consortium has taken a majority stake in National league football club Dagenham & Redbridge.
FC Sports Investments 2018 Limited, which has former Manchester United and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard involved, has purchased 58% of the club’s share capital.
The venture is led by Peter B. Freund and Craig Unger who have many years’ experience of owning and operating professional sports franchises across North America.
The group has already had a successful launch of professional soccer in Memphis, TN with the United Soccer League’s Memphis 901 FC, a division II club.
The Daggers deal will see Peter Freund will join the board as executive chairman of the football club. Paul Gwinn JP will retain his post of chairman and Steve Thompson as managing director. The club’s remaining directors will be Craig Unger, Mark Odams and Dave Bennett.
FC Sports was advised on the acquisition by the sports team at law firm Walker Morris.
The Walker Morris team was led by David Hinchliffe and Geoff Cunningham and supported by Christian Slinger, Liz Coley, Katie Reed and Matt Lingard.
Head of the Walker Morris Sports Team, David Hinchliffe, commented:“It’s fantastic to be a part of another deal in the National League where our team helped to secure the future of another famous football club”
Peter Freund added: “Victoria Road Football LLC and FC Sports Investments 2018 Limited were advised by boutique investment bank Inner Circle Sports of New York City and Leeds based Walker Morris solicitors both of whom have provided invaluable support and advice.”
Club chairman Paul Gwinn said: “Following on from a turbulent period in the Club’s history we are very pleased to welcome Peter Freund and his partners who will bring a wealth of expertise to the club. I would like to go on record to thank Steve Thompson for not only steering the club throughout this period but for being instrumental in securing this investment.
“We hope that with our finances stabilised and a promising young side under the vastly experienced Peter Taylor, the prospect for the club and its supporters is a bright one.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated, time or money, to the club over the past months which was essential to put us in the position we are today. As the saying goes from adversity often comes strength.”