Friday, November 22, 2019

Real Mallorca to be bought by Englishman – will he be accepted?

There is often much concern voiced in certain sections of the media and in pubs, clubs and cafes the length and breadth of England about the influx of ‘foreigners’ into English football.

If we are not moaning about the number of overseas players in the league preventing our young players from flourishing and ruining our national side, we are moaning about the number of overseas investors taking control of the big clubs with no interest in the actual clubs, the fans, or indeed the football. “How dare these people waltz into our game and throw money at it,” we say, “who do they think they are? This is England for goodness sake!”

The likes of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, the Glazers at Manchester United and Gillett and Hicks at Liverpool, are regarded with, at best suspicion and at worst, utter contempt. That feeling is often held by the fans of those clubs as well as followers of other teams.

How interesting it is, therefore, to see the news that an English businessman is on the verge of buying a controlling stake in a Spanish club. Not only is he doing that, but he openly admits that he knows little about football and is buying the club purely to raise the profile of his pipe-fitting company in Spain.

English businessman Paul Davidson is set to buy the controlling share in Spanish football club Real Mallorca.

The company which currently owns the club announced on Real Mallorca’s website yesterday that a pre-agreement had been reached with Mr. Davidson and the process of selling to him is well advanced.

The owners made it clear that Davidson will not be taking over as president of the club, with the owner of the company, Vicente Grande, remaining in the role for the time being.

Davidson, who owns the pipe-fitting firm, said he is buying Real Mallorca to promote his businesses in Spain.

He told the Telegraph: “I don’t know much about football but I will use the club to promote my other business interests. We will operate our other businesses from the club, but I will not be taking decisions about football. I will leave that to the current management.”

Mr. Davidson will have to go through the process of formalising the agreement in the coming weeks and the agreement will also be subject to a period of ‘due diligence’. It remains to be seen if there will be any opposition to his plans.

The pipe-fitting company owned by Davidson, Fluid Leader, was recently floated on the Plus Market and reportedly earned the Englishman a cool £40million.

It is believed that Davidson will pay £50million to gain a 96% share in Real Mallorca and allegedly saw off competition from other potential investors believed to include ex-Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd as well as an unnamed Russian investor.

It seems pretty clear from what he has said that Mr. Davidson has little interest in football, little interest in Real Mallorca and whilst I may be doing him a huge injustice here, it seems unlikely that he will have the interests of the Real Mallorca fans at heart. He can’t possibly have the passion for the club that the fans have and by admitting he knows little about the game, he is unlikely to understand the sort of loyalty and passion that is engendered by supporting a club.

It will be very interesting to see the reaction to this move in Spain. How will Real Mallorca and the wider Spanish football community view this news?

Will they be delighted to see £50 million invested into the club and the Spanish game generally and welcome the fact that an investor from overseas sees their game as a worthwhile investment? Will they see this as a logical progression in the global development of the game?

Or sadly, is it more likely that, as in most cases in England, the investment will be regarded as suspicious and dangerous? Will there be a similar xenophobic reaction to a ‘foreigner’ getting involved in ‘our game’?

On the whole, a huge financial investment in the game must be a good thing. Most of us who support clubs who are generally struggling for money find it easy to sneer at this type of investment in other clubs. We can happily say that it just isn’t right. Whether we would be so anti if the £50 million was being given to the manager of the team we support is not so easy to evaluate.

The next few weeks will tell us if the usual overreaction to overseas investment is a problem throughout Europe or whether it is simply an English disease.


Graham Fisher



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Van Basten
Van Basten

I’m sure the weather and lifestyle in Spain and some part in his decision. A better excuse to get away to the sun smile

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