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Everyone Wants to Buy A European Soccer Club (But There's a Problem...)
Welcome to Wrexham!
This was one of the most beautifully executed business plans of ALL TIME.
Don’t know what I’m talking about?
Let me give you some background and a peek behind the scenes of what a lot of people are now attempting to do. 👇
European Soccer System
The basis of the story is this…
In European soccer, there is something called relegation and promotion.
Bottom 2-4 teams move down to a lower league
Top 2-4 teams move up to a higher league
And as I’m sure you can imagine — this has a huge financial impact.
Teams in England’s top league earn ~$100M/season from TV contracts, while teams in England’s second league earn ~$10M/season.
And overall there are 8+ tiers in the English Football League System 👀
And that’s where the story of Wrexham begins.
In 2020, actors Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds began the process to buy Wrexham AFC, a 5th Tier Welsh team.
At the time, the team was "struggling” with poor management and a loss of interest from fans.
This enabled McElhenney and Reynolds to acquire the club for a only few million.
And returns were quick when they signed a streaming deal to document their process (each episode is estimated to have generated around £430,000 for the club and its owners).
In the 2021–22 season, the first under the pair's ownership, Wrexham finished in 2nd — just barely missing promotion.
In year two, they won the league and secured promotion to League Two (the fourth tier of English football).
Accomplishing that brought Wrexham a £1M increase in TV payouts.
Is that Wrexham would have been a fictional TV show in the past, but it’s a non-fiction documentary for us to watch in near real-time today.
Everyone Now Wants a Team
Wrexham has inspired many others to join this growing movement started by Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds at Wrexham AFC.
We’re seeing a rush to scoop up distressed, lower-tier soccer clubs across Europe.
And what’s funny to me…
A lot of the trend hoppers seem to fit this archetype: SPACs to Web3 to AI and now Euro Soccer Clubs.
But there are some deeper reasons why American money is headed to European soccer — especially when the opportunity for US soccer feels huge ahead of the 2026 World Cup.
US Soccer Landscape Isn’t Ready
The US still has holes in talent identification because of its broken model.
Youth soccer in…
North America is mostly Pay-to-Play.
Europe is subsidized through the club system.
MLS teams have done a solid job of developing an academy system — however, MLS academies are only a fraction of the youth system in the US.
The US has more than 10,000 registered youth soccer clubs. But only one professional club per city and sometimes per state (excluding NY, California, Texas, and Florida).
This can get pretty daunting…
But it has created a greater discussion with US investment flowing more toward Europe than the MLS/US.
The main reason is the ROI can be greater in Europe than the MLS in a shorter period of time.
What’s Coming Next…
I expect to see a large number of lower-tier pro soccer clubs being scooped up in Europe.
You’ll see a ton of athletes & celebrities as co-investors in these deals as well.
But where I really see it going…
Creating a small percentage of the ownership allocation to the fans.
This will be achieved through crowdfunding platforms (and possibly some of the first blockchain platform integrations).
Exciting days are ahead — it’s only a matter of time before YOU own a small fraction of a sports team.
Today’s guest is Brian Woods, founder of the Prep Super League (PSL).
PSL is a spring football league for aspiring college prospects seeking enhanced competition and a less restrictive environment to pursue NIL deals.
You’ll enjoy this episode as we discuss:
Unique gap in amateur sports
NIL and the impact as it heads downstream
Keys to creating valuable emerging sports leagues
Check out the podcast episode here.
𝘉𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 (𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘨𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘍𝘰𝘹 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜𝘚𝘍𝘓). 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘰.
As always, I appreciate you reading the newsletter (and listening to the podcast).
Have a great weekend!