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Additions building new structure at Bournemouth

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With American businessman Bill Foley’s desire to build a multi-club model with the Cherries at the top of that pyramid, a new structure knitting together a family of clubs was always likely to be created.

Shortly after the completion of his purchase of AFC Bournemouth, it was announced that Foley had acquired an initial 33% shareholding in the purchase of Ligue 1 side Lorient. Foley has stated that Black Knight’s (the controlling company that owns Foley’s football clubs) stake in Lorient was set to rise to 100% over the next few years on a phased basis.

The next purchase was for an expansion franchise in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, which will compete in the Australian Professional Leagues (APL).

Next up was a minority stake purchase in Scottish Premiership side Hibernian.

This summer appears to be the time that this new structure comes to fruition, whether or not Richard Hughes departing his role as AFC Bournemouth first-team technical director to become the sporting director at Liverpool was the catalyst or not isn’t clear. But, whatever the reason, the Cherries do not seem to be doing this at a slow pace.

The first appointment was an internal appointment with Simon Francis named as AFC Bournemouth’s technical director.

Next up came Tiago Pinto as AFC Bournemouth’s new president of football operations.

The 39-year-old, who for the past three years has been general manager of AS Roma, began work on the south coast at the end of last month, working alongside both Francis and AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake “on all football matters”.

Following his appointment, Tiago told…

“I’m very happy to be joining AFC Bournemouth during such an exciting time for the club.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Bill, Neill and Simon. The vision that they have laid out to me is something that I can’t wait to be a part of.

“I look forward to getting to work over the summer as we prepare for the new season.”

Initial reports in Italy suggested that Tiago Pinto would be involved more in the entire Black Knight group, but with his title officially announced as AFC Bournemouth’s new president of football operations, it would appear that he is working more exclusively with the Premier League club.

With that formally announced, the next move would be to appoint someone who will oversee all of the Black Knight group and that is former President and General Manager of Major League Soccer side Columbus Crew Tim Bezbatchenko.

Bezbatchenko has been named as President of Black Knight Football Club (BKFC), with the former MLS executive leading Bill Foley’s multi-club model.

Starting in July, Bezbatchenko will work with BKFC’s portfolio of clubs from the Cherries, Auckland, Lorient and Hibernian “to improve and better coordinate player development and recruiting, enhance player pathways and optimize commercial opportunities across the group to deliver on-field success and strong financial performance”.

Foley said, as quoted by

“We are excited to add a leader of Tim’s caliber as we continue to build BKFC’s multi-club model,

“His track record of success includes a commitment to developing players and providing first-class facilities and fan experiences, all of which are bedrocks of our approach throughout our network of world-class football clubs.”

Bezbatchenko added…

“I am thrilled to join Black Knight Football Club and its portfolio of clubs that compete in many of the top domestic competitions in the world,”

“I would like to thank Bill Foley, Ryan Caswell and Cannae Holdings for providing this opportunity. Modern football requires taking a globally integrated approach, with cross-border player transactions integral to creating sustainable success. I look forward to working with the leadership across BKFC’s clubs to facilitate player development and player movement to optimize collective team performance on the pitch as well as with our commercial teams to deliver a world class experience for our supporters and partners.”

Your say…

hba1 said…

My oh my we do seem to have a lot of men in suits around Dean Court these days. No doubt they all talk a good game.

Northbourne Reds replied…

Some of you really do come across as you want us back in League 2 and potless.

These appointments are only what every other club does at this level, so why shouldn’t we.

God forbid the club & owners want to show ambition & achieve something. – To join the conversation, click here.

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