Chinese owners of Grasshopper Club Zurich have been looking to sell the Swiss team for months now. While they have not yet received an appropriate bid, Los Angeles FC ownership is now interested in the club. In fact, the two sides are negotiating a potential deal.

American investment trio Brandon Beck, Larry Berg, and Bennett Rosenthal currently co-own the Major League Soccer team. Popular actor Will Ferrell also has a minority stake in the club as well. LAFC finished third in the Western Conference during the 2023 season and will soon face Vancouver Whitecaps in round one of the playoffs.

American investors continue European rush to purchase clubs

Although nothing is set in stone just yet, Bloomberg is reporting that the aforementioned trio has shown interest in Grasshopper. In turn, the club’s current owners are attempting to use the intrigue to attract rival bids. It remains to be seen if the tactic will work.

There has been a noticeable influx of Americans buying foreign soccer teams in recent years. Nearly half of all Premier League clubs are majority-owned by U.S. businessmen. This could soon increase with 777 Partners’ potential acquisition of Everton in the coming months. Manchester City, although mainly owned by a United Arab Emirates group, also has minority investment from an American as well.

The Premier League is, however, not the only foreign division with a plethora of American owners. Clubs from Serie A, LaLiga, and Ligue 1 currently have U.S. ownership. Hollywood duo Ryan Reynolds and American Rob McElhenney have also famously taken over at Welsh side Wrexham as well.

Nevertheless, it is fairly unusual for owners of an American team to also own a significant foreign club as well. In a rare case, National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang recently shocked many when she acquired French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais Féminin. The two teams have formed a partnership together. The French club currently has the record for most UEFA Women’s Champions League titles with eight.

The record titleholders in the Swiss Super League have not won the league in over 20 years.

The record titleholders in the Swiss Super League have not won the league in over 20 years.

The record titleholders in the Swiss Super League have not won the league in over 20 years.

LAFC can revitalize Grasshopper Zurich

Grasshopper is one of the oldest and most successful professional Swiss clubs. The Hoppers have collected 27 total Swiss Super League trophies and 19 Swiss Cup triumphs in their illustrious history. However, the club has struggled, both on and off the pitch, in recent years.

For instance, Grasshopper has not collected a top-flight trophy since 2003. Behind the scenes, the club’s plans to build a new stadium have been significantly delayed. The team currently shares their home stadium with rivals FC Zurich. Grasshopper is averaging about 6,000 fans per game during the current campaign. Zurich, on the other hand, records nearly three times the number of supporters for home games.

LAFC owners are clearly making moves to help build their brand. For example, the club previously announced a player development partnership with Bayern Munich back in March. A month later, ownership also revealed that they were investing in Wacker Innsbruck. The Austrian side currently competes in the lower ranks of the professional pyramid.

PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire, Pius Koller