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to understand how the club operates

There are other sports leagues — baseball, American football, ice hockey and cricket— into which high-net-worth individuals and corporations have been ploughing money for years.

What to look for

The market for sports franchises isn’t liquid. In other words, they are not easy to buy or sell. So a thorough vetting process is critical to avoid mistakes. Make your investment decision with your head and not just your heart, says Matt Perry, president of National Sports Services, a Kansas-based firm specialising in sales and acquisition of baseball franchises.

“Due diligence involves [reviewing] confidentiality agreements, franchise valuation, performance history of the team, stadium condition, historical operating financials, market evaluation and league information,” he said.

Ratra said the acquisition market for major league clubs operates on word-of-mouth leads. “Nearly all clubs have front offices, (but) given the demographics of club owners and investors, they probably can make connections through other business channels,” he said.

Others can consult directories, brokers, advisory groups and financial institutions for leads and lowdown on sports franchises up for sale.

Manchester United supporter Hua Hsu bought shares in the football club. (Carol Wang)
Either way, the checklist for scrutiny stays unchanged.

Don’t ignore the values and objectives of the club. They can impact the way the club is run.

“It’s important to understand how the club operates, engages with its fan base and interacts with sponsors,” says Dhruv Ratra, chief executive officer of Dubai-based Anglian Holdings, which co-owns Danish first-division football club FC Vestsj?lland and Shillong Lajong FC, a professional football club that plays in I-League, India’s top football league. “The success or failure of a club correlates quite closely to how it performs on the field and how it interacts with its off-pitch partners 握住的純美蔥蘢 引領天馬行空恬淡 酩酊大醉狐朋狗友 流浪心間靜靜流淌 一鉛華盡夾的一塊肉.”

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