Atlanta United have entered into a strategic partnership with Scottish club Aberdeen FC, an arrangement which includes not only sharing of resources and knowledge but a financial investment in Aberdeen on the part of AMB Sports & Entertainment, ATLUTD’s parent company.
AMBSE has purchased a minority ownership stake in AFC of less than 10%, a move that, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report citing Atlanta team president Darren Eales, arose as “team owner Arthur Blank wanted to invest money because including a financial stake tends to result in consistent focus.” Eales and his Atlanta colleagues will have no operational involvement or day-to-day oversight responsibilities at Aberdeen.
AMBSE’s investment of £2 million (US $2.58 million) is part of a new package of investment in AFC totaling £5 million (US $6.45 million) led by software entrepreneur Dave Cormack, a native of Aberdeen and current resident of Atlanta who is now becoming Aberdeen’s chairman. As part of the transaction, AFC’s incumbent chairman Stewart Milne is stepping down, as are their other directors.
“The strategic partnership will serve to expand Atlanta United’s reach globally and will be an opportunity for both clubs to share knowledge and experience including player and youth development, fan experience and venue best practices,” stated ATLUTD in a club release.
“The partnership also has technical advantages by extending Atlanta United’s scouting network into a new region and allowing for a development pipeline between the clubs.”
Currently third in the Scottish Premiership standings behind the Old Firm duo of Celtic and Rangers, Aberdeen are four-time SPL champions and seven-time Scottish Cup winners. Their rich history includes a 1983 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup double, the highlight of Sir Alex Ferguson's successful tenure as manager at AFC from 1978-1986 before he moved on to become a global legend at Manchester United.