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SBD Global/August 25, 2014/Finance

Former England, Barcelona Manager Venables Lauching Offshore Football Fund

Terry Venables is launching an "offshore fund to foster young overseas talent."
Former footballer and England Manager Terry Venables is launching an "offshore fund to foster young overseas talent, kicking off the debate as to whether investors can ever profit from one of the world’s richest sports," according to Emma Dunkley of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Venables -- nicknamed "El Tel" following his stint managing Barcelona -- has "joined forces with three former professional footballers" in a bid to raise £5M ($8.3M) for the Football Talent Fund, which will "provide education and coaching for young players from South America, Africa and Europe." The fund will be "domiciled in Anguilla -- a British overseas territory in the Caribbean -- and will also purchase a stake in a Portuguese football club, which will serve as a 'feeder club' for the players to enter major leagues around the world." For a minimum investment of £5,000 ($8,260) and units of £1,000 ($1,650) thereafter, the fund "will target a minimum return" of 12% per annum, with dividends "expected to be paid before the third year of operation." There is, however, "some scepticism over the fund, and the wider concept of investing in football." Investment firm Tilney Bestinvest Managing Dir Jason Hollands said, "The fund has not been reviewed or approved by the Financial Conduct Authority, and so as an unregulated investment scheme, it should not be promoted to retail investors." Would-be investors "also need to be mindful of the chequered history of football investments." A previous football fund "run by Singer & Friedlander in the 1990s performed poorly, and individual shares have also generated poor returns" (FT, 8/22).
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