Auckland FC backer Bill Foley linked with move to add Belgian club to portfolio

The owners of new A-League club Auckland FC are reportedly looking to add Belgium’s Standard Liege to their portfolio of professional football clubs.

Reports say Bill Foley’s Black Knight Group are running the rule over Standard Liege with an eye to adding it to their group of football holdings that include English Premier League club AFC Bournemouth, Auckland FC, French Ligue 1 outfit Lorient and a minority stake in Scotland’s Hibernian.

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Standard Liege’s current owners, 777 Partners, are said to be open to off-loading the Belgian club which has struggled to make payments recently, and has incurred a transfer embargo.

The 777 Partners group, which has been linked with a move to take over English club Everton, has been building a global football portfolio with majority stakes in Genoa, Red Star FC, Standard Liege, Hertha Berlin and Vasco da Gama, and a minority stake in Sevilla.

Texan billionaire Foley has often shared his vision of establishing a global family of clubs, creating pathways for players and sharing expertise and resources among them.

He has been looking for suitable European clubs to add to the Black Knight Group’s portfolio, and has been previously reported to have shown interest in acquiring a Belgian club, and has considered deals for Charleroi, KV Oostende and Gent.

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