Auckland A-League club investor Bill Foley has been given approval to take a minority ownership of Scottish Premiership club Hibernian — but with conditions.
The Scottish Football Association has allowed what is understood to be a £6 million stake in Hibs to be bought by Foley’s Black Knight group on the condition that:
- The shareholding does not exceed 29.99%.
- The agreement does not preclude Hibs from participating in European competitions because of dual interests.
- The minority investor has no say or authority in the day-to-day running of Hibs.
The SFA needed to approve Hibs’ ‘dual interest dispensation request’ under Article 13 of the governing body’s rules, that relate to ownership of multiple clubs.
Foley’s Black Knight Group owns English Premier League club Bournemouth, has a major stake in French side Lorient and now has a licence for a yet-to-be-named Auckland club to compete in the men’s and women’s A-Leagues.
In a statement, Hibernian said: “This decision came after a number of meetings between the two parties, alongside the club agreeing to certain undertakings and commitments at the request of the governing body.
“The club now has an agreement in principle with Black Knight Football Club for minority investment into Hibernian FC.
“The investment proposal will now be shared and ratified at the club’s Annual General Meeting, which will occur in February.”
Texan billionaire Foley (79) has previously shared his vision of a global group of football clubs, sharing resources and knowledge to strengthen their performances in each of their markets.
“I believe we could end up with four or five economic interests in clubs,” Foley has said.
“We would then have a system in place for players to advance and move on to the next club, then the next club.
“We will have similar analytics staff in place, and technical directors, to look for the right type of players who can ultimately play for AFC Bournemouth.”