The talk of Middle Eastern investment in a football club comes to us as no surprise, given the current state of affairs in the sport. From Sheikh Mansour and his Blues to Qatar Investment Authority basking in the newfound glory at Paris Saint Germain, we had seen it all. Furthermore, earlier this year Nottingham Forest was taken over by Kuwaiti businessman – Fawaz Al Hasawi.
But the latest news of investment in a football club from the region comes as a little bizarre, if not a hand raiser.
Kuwait based Kuwaiti European Holding (KEH) Sports Limited recently completed the takeover of Kent based Ebbsfleet United FC, a club currently playing in Conference South, the sixth tier of English football.
Back in 2008, EBFC was a cornerstone to those who would suggest that a community active digitally (Myfootballclub.co.uk) couldn’t run a club. The members would vote on transfers, budgets and ticket prices among other things related to day-to-day activities. But having hit a rough patch over the last few seasons, members have had their trouble in trying to keep the club out of administration. Which is where KEH comes in.
The immediate commitments of the new ownership include but is not limited to the £41,900 to settle all loans owed by the EBFC, £13,900 to myfootballclub.co.uk, a transfer budget of £100,000 for the coming season and a weekly squad budget of £8,000.
At least the man behind it all, Dr. Abdulla Al Humaidi was honest when he declared that he had no experience in sport management to a local newspaper.
“I have no experience of sports, that’s why Peter is heading the entire thing. As a company we brought in Peter because of his vast experience during his time at Charlton. We think he’s more than capable at Ebbsfleet.” – Kent News
And his intentions sound noble, with sights set at reaching the second tier of English football – the Championship. This coming from a man/firm who had an unsuccessful round of takeover conversation with Eastbourne Borough Football Club, a club playing in the same division, last month.
Surprising that they would go down to that level. Especially after owning Nottingham.
To be honest it is Bizarre but it may be one of those things where he just wanted to buy a team at a reasonable price just out of his own personal interest.