Russian businessman sells Premier League club
Russian businessman Maxim Demin is no longer the owner of AFC Bournemouth after selling his 100% stake in the English Premier League football club.
Demin became co-owner of Bournemouth in 2011 when he reportedly paid £850,000 ($1.050 million) for his share of the southern club.
In 2015, when Bournemouth were promoted to the Premier League, he sold a 25% share to Peak 6 investments before buying it back in 2019 and becoming the sole shareholder.
On Tuesday, Bournemouth confirmed the sale of the club to 77-year-old American businessman Bill Foley.
Foley, who owns NHL franchise the Vegas Golden Knights, visited Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium in October and saw Bournemouth come from behind to beat Leicester City 2-1.
Two months later, Foley has completed his takeover after receiving Premier League ratification.
🍒 BREAKING: Las Vegas businessman Bill Foley has completed his takeover of @AFCBournemouth, following ratification of the deal by the @premierleague. #afcbpic.twitter.com/Q3EWUalkuy— Kris Temple (@kristemple) December 13, 2022
“I have tremendous respect for the passion and support the Bournemouth community shows for this club and believe that connection to the community is the foundation for success of any sports team,” Foley told Bournemouth’s website.
“We will move forward with an ‘always advance, never retreat’ approach that has defined all of my endeavors.
“I am committed to work with the best football and business minds available to enhance player development, facilities, and the fan experience to put AFC Bournemouth in the best possible position to succeed.”
Russian media reported that Foley’s Cannae Holding’s Inc. company has taken over 50.1% of the club’s shares, with Hollywood movie star Michael B. Jordan and producer Nullah Sarker becoming minority owners.
The Russian-born Demin, said to have made his fortune in the petrochemicals industry and as a trader, was not targeted for sanctions by the UK government – unlike businessman Roman Abramovich, who was forced to sell Chelsea for £4.5 billion ($5.5 billion) in the summer to a consortium led by American Todd Boehly.
Demin has acquired UK citizenship, with The Athletic reporting in October that the Bournemouth takeover should make him around $130 million richer.
In a statement on Bournemouth’s website, Demin thanked the club’s fans, senior management, staff, and players.
“No organization is bigger than the sum of its parts, and so much of this club’s success has been driven by collaboration both on and off the pitch – something I’m sure will continue as its ownership changes hands,” Demin said.
“I was fully aware of Bill Foley’s intentions for the club from the outset and I am very confident that its future is in safe hands. Though this has been a very difficult decision for me to sell, Bill’s expertise, commitment, and vision gives me great peace of mind.”
Bournemouth’s fans will hope that Foley is able to replicate the success that the Golden Knights have enjoyed in the NHL since joining in 2017.
In their first season, the franchise reached the Stanley Cup finals where they were beaten by the Washington Capitals, and qualified for the playoffs in each one of their first four campaigns.
Foley will assume the role of chairman at Bournemouth and attend their next home match against Crystal Palace on December 31.