Tom Wagner, an American hedge fund manager agreed to buy 45.64% of Birmingham City under his group Shelby Companies Limited. For reference, 24% of those shares come from Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited. The other 21.64% is from Oriental Rainbow Investments and Achiever Global Group. As a result, Wagner also takes full control of the club’s ground, St. Andrew’s Stadium.
Wagner wrote a letter to the club’s fans that lays out his priorities and ambitions with the club. Much of that revolves around the stadium, which he now owns in its entirety.
“The first step in the transition is to ensure St. Andrew’s is fit for purpose,” Wagner wrote. “The fans, players and our partners deserve an improved St. Andrew’s. We plan to work in partnership with the City Council to explore all options available to us to transform our physical infrastructure. Regardless of what the future holds, St. Andrew’s will remain part of our community, and our history.”
Wagner plans on bringing in commercial partnerships and infrastructure improvements to increase revenue. That is the central part of American Wagner’s plans with Birmingham City. Much of the club’s identity is developing youth talent. Jude Bellingham would be the club’s most recent highlight export. That will continue, but so will investment into the club’s men’s and women’s squads to improve the on-field product.
Birmingham City is latest to fall under American ownership
In the Premier League, there are 10 clubs that have at least some American ownership. The major contributors to that are Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. While each of those clubs is certainly larger than Birmingham City, Wagner’s acquisition of the club represents the growing trend of US ownership of English clubs. After all, clubs like Millwall, Swansea and Burnley in this season’s Championship also have American owners.
There was no amount of money specified in Wagner’s purchase of the 45.64% of Birmingham City. Both deals are subject to approval from the EFL and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. That is where Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited is listed publicly.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images
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