Melbourne Victory claims to have secured “one of the biggest investment deals into a single sports team in Australian history” after linking with 777 Partners.
The Miami-based investment company, whose portfolio includes the Victory’s new major sponsor, Bonza, has become a minority shareholder in the A-League club, whose reported value is now estimated to be up to $50 million.
“The 777 Partners deal will strengthen our capital base and will allow the club to supercharge its growth trajectory as well as ensure its longevity in Australia and football while retaining the Melbourne Victory brand, fabric and history,” Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro said.
“Our vision is to lead, unite, connect and inspire Australians and we believe, now more than ever, that with the resources and strategic support that 777 Partners has to offer, we will achieve just that.
“Our focus has always been on football but equally we are about building the club for all Melburnians, now and in the future.
“This arrangement will enable Melbourne Victory to build and develop its talent in a way we have not been able to access before.”
As part of the deal, 777 Football Group CEO Don Dransfield will join the Victory board.
Other clubs in the 777 Football Group are Sevilla (Spain), Genoa (Italy), Standard Liege (Belgium), Red Star FC (France) and Vasco da Gama (Brazil).
“We see there being the opportunity both to provide a pathway for Australian players out and also for other players to come in and … play for Victory,” Dransfield said.
“We now have a portfolio of six clubs playing across a variety of different forms and environments of league structures.
“This opportunity for us in Australia is one that we view as really compelling, and Melbourne Victory as part of that, within that framework and structure, is a really clear choice for us.”
The Victory opens its 2022-23 A-League campaign on Saturday night against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.