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Bournemouth owner Bill Foley in advanced talks for Hibernian stake

Bournemouth owner Bill Foley is reportedly in advanced discussions to secure a minority stake in Scottish Premiership club Hibernian, according to The Athletic.

The 78-year-old is spearheading the Hibs deal behind his American investment consortium, Black Knight Football Club.

Black Knight Football Club boasts notable co-owners including the Ryan Family, minority stakeholders in the Chicago Bears, and Hollywood actor Michael B Jordan.

Foley’s consortium acquired English Premier League outfit Bournemouth last December. They expanded their football portfolio by securing a 30% stake in French Ligue 1 side Lorient a month later. 

They recently emerged as the preferred bidder for a new A-League franchise set to grace Auckland, New Zealand.

Foley has openly said he wants to broaden the consortium’s footballing reach, and the move to acquire a part of Hibs shows the wheels are in motion. 

However, this move marks a significant juncture for Scottish football. The Scottish Premiership has historically resisted potential club owners that had other clubs in Europe.

The Scottish Football Association even enforced a strict rule preventing individuals who owned at least 25% of another professional club in Europe from buying shares in Scottish clubs. 

However, this long-standing rule has subtly evolved into a more flexible, case-by-case approval process with the emergence of the multi-club ownership model across Europe.

This development has opened the doors for clubs like Hibs to negotiate with prospective multi-club investors. 

Hibernian have been looking for investment opportunities since the passing of their former owner, Ron Gordon, after a battle with cancer in February. 

The American entrepreneur had purchased a majority stake in the club in 2019 before his untimely demise.

The Gordons, represented by Ron’s son Ian and wife Kit, currently maintain a controlling 67% stake in the club. 

They want to retain this control while accommodating Black Knight Football Club’s entry, which is expected to begin with a modest 15% minority shareholding.

However, this first step will potentially pave the way for more substantial investments in the future.

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