Scottish fans vote to oppose investment by Bill Foley’s Black Knight Group

Auckland A-League club investor Bill Foley will face opposition from fans wanting to block his planned minority investment in Scottish Premiership club Hibernian.

Though 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, the club’s second biggest shareholder plans to vote against the proposal.

The Hibernian Supporters Ltd, a fans group with as many as 4,000 members, own 15.4% of the club’s shareholding and they say they’ll oppose the Black Knight investment when it goes to the vote at the club’s annual general meeting on Tuesday February 27, 2024.

Texan sports investor Foley has often shared his vision for a collaborative group of football clubs, backed by his Black Knight Group, which would include English Premier League club Bournemouth, French side Lorient and the yet-to-be-named Auckland A-League club.

Main photo: Bill Foley … aiming to invest in football clubs in multiple countries.

For the Black Knight deal to go through at Hibernian, the club’s rules require 75% approval from shareholders.

The largest shareholders, the Gordon family, will support Black Knight’s investment, and have 67% of the shares.

Without the backing of the fans’ group, the Gordons need support from businessman Leslie Robb (who owns 10%) or other individual fans who collectively own about 8%.

Hibernian Supports Ltd had polled their members who decided to vote against the proposal, after criticism that the Black Knight investment (to take up to 29.99% of Hibs shares) would dilute their stake in the club.

Hibernian Supporters chairman Jim Adie said: “We have carried out our process in accordance with our rules and it is now for other shareholders to make their own choices.”

Hibernian Supporters director and former club captain Jackie McNamara said: ‘I have been appalled by the way that the club board have behaved towards so many ordinary Hibs supporters who have been so supportive and generous to the club.

“To find ourselves in such a position, of being asked to vote to deprive ourselves of club shares given that our primary objective is to do just that, is just plain crazy.”

READ MORE: Bill Foley gets go-ahead to complete investment in Scottish club Hibernian >>>>

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