The London Football Exchange Group (“LFE”) has unveiled an agreement to purchase a majority holding in Australian soccer team Perth Glory Football Club (“PGFC”). LFE famously conducted a token sale in 2018 to create a market empowering fan experiences, including football-based merchandise and matchday events, facilitated with the LFE token. LFE is now expanding its operations to Australia through acquiring a shareholding in Australian Hyundai A-League Premiers and 2019/20 Asia Champions League participants Perth Glory Football Club.
The club, whose home is the 20,500-seat Perth Oval, has won one Premiership title and appeared in two grand finals in the A-League. In addition to qualifying for the AFC Champions League, Perth Glory has appeared in two FFA Cup finals and two A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup finals.
The team behind LFE are advocates of the multi-club ownership/co-operation business model that has been successfully trialled with major clubs such as Manchester City, New York City, and Melbourne City. Overseen by a holding company, this model provides greater opportunities for fans to have an input in the club’s operations, while increasing the opportunity for commercial opportunities on a global scale. LFE plans to acquire other football clubs in strategic footballing locations around the world, uniting them under a single group. Perth Glory will form the flagship club that kickstarts this multi-club ownership model, and will be joined by other acquisitions that align with LFE’s business interests.
Subject to approval from the Football Federation Australia, LFE will build up its shareholding in Perth Glory FC before rolling out a similar strategy with other football clubs around the world. The acquisition will provide synergies between the London Football Exchange Group and Perth Glory FC, while demonstrating the potential for crypto tokens to enhance fan experiences and increase customer loyalty.
As part of the deal between LFE and PGFC, recently appointed club chairman Tony Sage will remain in place to fulfill his duties following the takeover, which is scheduled for completion by March 20, 2020. Commenting on the acquisition, Tony Sage said: “My love for PGFC is well known, our fans are loyal, and the fact that the LFE is designed and manned by fans for fans makes me proud to say I am part of the team and that PGFC is the cornerstone of this wonderful project.”
“We have had a 13-year journey to get this far. We have seen drama, silverware and lots of laughs and tears along the way. I am looking forward to the next 15 years where we want to become the dominant force in terms of footballing standards but also in terms of youth development for both the men’s and women’s game.”
LFE Group Founder Jim Aylward added: “Bringing this deal to the table is a real milestone not just in terms of business, but in terms of relationships that have been built with Tony Sage and Perth Glory. For me it is rather poetic to say that at last, Perth Glory has become our first targeted acquisition. It brings home to roost the fact that with the hard work and commitment from my team and the belief from the wider token holder community, we have had the power to bring us along thus far.”
Mr. Aylward added: “The future of the LFE football group project can now look to a steady and proven hand not only in terms of men’s professional game but the women and youth games that Tony has pioneered in Australia. To start building a global platform with him is a real honor and we are simply delighted that we have been able to achieve so much in our short 2 two-year history.”
LFE’s willingness to embrace emerging technologies and new business models has seen the company establish a reputation for innovation. Through experimenting with new fundraising mechanisms, blockchain technology, and crypto payments, LFE has become a thriving financial, technology, media and entertainment group. It specializes in transforming traditional businesses, including football clubs, through harnessing digital tools to increase revenue and enhance global branding. The company raised $70M in a digital token offering in 2018 and recently launched the LFEC token on Bithumb Global (one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges) and StellarX.