Tuesday Jan 6, 2015


THE trend of American investors venturing into English football has continued as Texas-based Legend Football Partners kicked off the New Year by acquiring an interest in Alfreton Town Football Club.

Legend Football Partners is a partnership between Texas-based Playbook Management International (PMI) and 1836 Capital. PMI is a sports management company whose interests include the Fort Worth Vaqueros soccer club.

1836 Capital is a corporate finance company that specialises in mergers and acquisitions.

ATFC owner and successful businessman Wayne Bradley has retained an interest in the club including three of the six seats on the club’s board. The additional three board seats will be filled with Legend Football Partners representatives.

1836 Capital identified the opportunity and negotiated the investment. It’s Managing Director Jonathan Collura explained the new partnership, which is effective as of January 1, 2015: “We have created an innovative ownership group with a successful sports management company, a stellar financial management group and passionate, fully committed local Alfreton Town ownership in England.”

“This unique partnership is well positioned to help Alfreton Town Football Club realise the great potential that we believe the club has both on and off the field.”

Long-standing Reds chairman Wayne Bradley explained how the international investment in the club and new partnerships will enable the club to build on the solid foundations already in place and help the club move forward positively.

“Alfreton Town Football Club has a long and proud history” Bradley said.

“I have been honoured to have been its chairman for the past sixteen years of that history. During my time as chairman I have overseen the club through four promotions, and won numerous cups and trophies in addition to generating substantial income via player transfer sales.

“The club now operates at the highest level of non league football in England. I have made it clear throughout my period as chairman that my main aim would be to achieve a place in the future of the game

“The development of the game on a world stage progresses at pace and the challenge for Alfreton Town FC continues to mount.
Therefore, when the opportunity to link with like-minded individuals in the United States of America, I had no hesitation in exploring and developing those links to the good of the club.
“I am therefore delighted that the formalities of a partnership have been agreed. An exciting position has now been created. A position which will propel the great history of the club well and truly into the future.
“I firmly believe that I will have achieved my ultimate aim of securing a future for the football club in a shape that I could only have dreamed of” ended Bradley.
PMI owns and operates the Fort Worth Vaqueros of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which is the fourth division of US soccer’s professional structure.

PMI Managing Partner Michael Hitchcock commented: “Alfreton Town FC has enjoyed unprecedented success in the past five years and sits primed to continue to grow and find even greater success, both on and off the field.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to continue that success with proven marketing strategies, innovative technology products, financial support, player sharing and expanding the ATFC brand throughout England and the global soccer market place.”
The August through to May English season has little overlap with the American summer season, which will allow players to train and play with both clubs as well as potential pre-season tours for the Vaqueros in England and the Reds in Texas.

About the Fort Worth Vaqueros
The Vaqueros launched in January 2014 and quickly made an impact through their grassroots and social media marketing. The club’s name and logo were both chosen through fan voting. Meanwhile, the club launched its innovative season seat campaign that allowed supporters to wear their jersey into the stadium rather than needing paper tickets for entry. The Vaqueros opened the year with a season high 2,700 fans en route to an average of 2,000 per game.

About PMI
PMI is a sports management company with consulting, management & technology divisions. Michael Hitchcock founded PMI in 2009 after a twelve-year career in Major League Soccer where he started as an entry-level sales rep and rose to become President and General Manager of FC Dallas.
Hitchcock won the MLS Sales Director of the Year four times, his sales team won MLS Sales Team of the Year five times and he was recognised as the Commissioner’s New Business Leadership Award winner. PMI built and managed the San Antonio Scorpions of the second division NASL and managed the business operations of the NPSL before launching its own club in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

About 1836
Capital 1836 Capital is a Dallas-based boutique capital placement company with a focus on corporate finance. It was designed to assist with the capital needs of select growth-based middle market businesses and specialises in partnering with a company's management team to meet capital needs and has an expertise in complex deals and capital structures. 1836 utilises a proprietary methodology to identify the capital needs and negotiate solutions with financial partners.

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