The American private equity firm, headed by founder Gerry Cardinale, took a small stake of around 600 shares in Spain’s second tier of Malaga, with the potential to increase its stake later.
Cardinale and RedBird, through their branch RedBird FC, already hold a majority stake in the French second division of Toulouse, having bought them last summer after withdrawing from the race to take over from AS Roma.
Cardinale has made no secret of his intention to add new clubs to his RedBird portfolio, and his investment in FSG, which some believe could increase over time, has largely been done to help FSG expand its own portfolio. clubs with a capital of £ 538 million. RedBird investment.
There is the potential for Toulouse to fall under such an umbrella of clubs, with Liverpool sitting at the pyramid, and the latest investment, though small, provides clues as to what the next step could be for RedBird.
Malaga is a club that has gone through a period of immense turmoil.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani bought the club, then mired in financial difficulties, in 2010 and turned La Rosaleda squad into Champions League quarter-finalists in 2013, their squad including stars such as Jeremy Toulalan , Isco and Nacho Monreal.
But the heavy investment was not sustained and Malaga’s decline ensued, the club were relegated in 2018 and faced enormous financial strains.
In 2020, Al Thani was removed from his post as president for an initial period of six months by a Spanish regional court, a suspension that was extended, after charges were brought against him for alleged embezzlement – to knowing how to direct the funds, which pays the state equals more than £. $ 7 million, from the sale of smaller shareholders to the personal and business accounts of the Al Thani family.
A club’s receiver, José María Muñoz, has been on site since last year and RedBird’s latest investment, which will allow them to attend club shareholders’ meetings, provides capital for the business to be managed through funding. crisis, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
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The club remain in a legal battle over Al Thani ownership.
But the arrival of RedBird may well be the first block in place to increase its stake and be well placed to move if Al Thani is forced to sell the club.
RedBird reviewed over 80 European clubs prior to owning Toulouse, and this record of clubs, their financial situation and their potential for growth is something that could prove to be a hugely beneficial tool for FSG when it comes to ‘expand its own operations, which Cardinale will likely play a role in.