“I respect Torcida’s (Hajduk Split fans) passion and I think that Hajduk has to be a part of every fan in Split, Dalmatia and Croatia, and not in the ownership of one group. Sometimes I have the feeling that I believe more in Hajduk and in Split that the citizens of Split believe in themselves,” – those are the words of Michael Glover, the leader of an American consortium, who on Wednesday presented a formal takeover bid for the famous Croatian football club.
The consortium led by lawyer Glover and consisting also of psychologist Darren Treasure and NFL star Ndamukong Suh, are prepared to invest more than 230 million kuna (30 million euros) in the troubled club over five years by paying off the club’s debt, investing in infrastructure, the club’s youth academy and the first team.
The American trio presented the deal to the club’s largest shareholder, the Split City Council, who own a 56% stake in the club. “Hajduk shares are not listed on the stock exchange so we can not judge their value. The club has so much debt and unfulfilled commitments that actually there is no actual market value,” said Glover, before adding.
“This investment is long-term and we are prepared to invest at least 230 million kuna. We want to pay off all the club’s debt towards its employers, players and trainers. We would then pay off all of the remainder of the debt in a 12 month period”. The Americans want a 51% share in the club and are confident they will get a result, despite saying that the method of doing business in Split has been unusual, reports daily Jutarnji list.
“If we talk hypothetically about a referendum, then citizens must be informed of all the business details of Hajduk. If you look at contracts the club has with its players you will see that players get a considerable share of any transfer fees because they know they wont get paid. Those things effect the club long-term.
UPDATE: Latest reports as of Thursday morning in the media say that Split Mayor Ivo Baldasar has turned the offer down.