Football.  The All Blacks Bought by American Investors: The Inevitable Happened!

Football. The All Blacks Bought by American Investors: The Inevitable Happened!

A twist in global rugby: The All Blacks will soon pass, in part, under the American flag. (© Icon Sports)

What was devoured several months ago has just been registered: part of the brand all black It will be sold to an investment fund in California, Silver Lake. This Thursday, April 29th meeting, New Zealand Rugby Federation (NZR) has made a formal decision approving, in a unanimous vote in the General Assembly, the sale of its national team shares to Investor in the private sector. ” a A revolutionary turning point for rugby‘, for some, ‘a sell his soul‘, to others.

“A truly exciting and transformative opportunity”

“We think it’s a A truly exciting and transformative opportunity that can benefit all this sport for generations to come,” the president of the federation explained, Mark RobinsonTo underscore this “historic agreement” which is one of the most controversial decisions in the history of his sport, the controversy has raged in Kiwi country in recent weeks. This transaction was entered into with the California Investment Fund Silver Lake Partners to high 280 million dollars (230 million euros) to acquire part of the brand of the three world champions.

This gained unanimous approval from the county associations at New Zealand’s annual general meeting in Wellington, but it still has to, in principle, on Thursday, April 29, for final approval by the players’ union. A possible veto is still mentioned by the latter, since many New Zealand internationals, including the captain Sam Kanhad already vehemently opposed the partial takeover of their selection in a letter sent to their union at the end of March.

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The episode reminds us of the catastrophic failure of European Football League Critics said when several high-profile clubs tried to withdraw from UEFA and the Champions League, in an effort to increase profits, to back down in the face of fans’ anger.

“Unique opportunity to attract commercial revenue”

If this deal is approved by the players in Silver Fern, Silver Lake will become the owner 12.5% ​​of All Blacks trading rights And it would give him the right to negotiate worldwide agreements to sell, in particular, TV rights and the Derivatives. This could, it is estimated, increase the total commercial value of New Zealand rugby to $2.2 billion (1.8 billion euros). Significant financial gain at times health crisis and economics related covid-19 pandemic.

About the head of NZR, Brent EmbiThis agreement “represents a A revolutionary turning point for rugby This is a “unique opportunity to attract business returns to enable investment in areas where it is most needed.” The business stake is significant at a time when NZR is experiencing significant financial difficulties, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, to the point that, According to Mr. Robinson, it threatens its survival.It lost more than $25 million in 2020, according to financial results released at its general meeting on Thursday.

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The funds will be used specifically to help the federations in difficulty, Female game development and the youth participationThe President of the New Zealand Federation reassured. He added that investments in technology will also allow NZR to “reach millions of fans around the world.” The fans remained silent for the time being, leaving the Players Association ahead.

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Clubs sold their lives

Clubs sold their souls ‘, and consequently laments to one of Robinson’s ancestors, David Moffetton me Radio New Zealand. According to him, Silver Lake, who manages a portfolio of assets 79 billion dollars (65 billion euros), he will try to squeeze all blacks like a lemon, even if it means getting them to play “meaningless” exhibition matches in the United States. However, the All Blacks are a historical monument and daily obsession in New Zealand, they are an integral part of the lives of the residents, of their national pride, a stone’s throw from the Australian and South African rivals.

“We will see the All Blacks play more games without interest, which will happen Reducing the value of the most beautiful brand in world rugby Moffett expected. Fans of the All Blacks reacted in large numbers already, on the union’s Facebook page, when the insurance company of America AIG It was announced in 2012 that he would appear on the famous black shirts, which for a long time remained devoid of any sponsor. According to sports columnist Mark Reason, Silver Lake only wants to make money “by increasing the value of New Zealand rugby on paper before reselling it for capital gains, as they do ‘usually’.”

Simon Galinier with © 2021 AFP.

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