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Outside of Minneapolis real estate circles, Maciek Kaminski isn't terribly well known, but he may soon be a household name in Liverpool.
Kaminsky is the latest American with deep pockets to make a play for ownership in the English Premier League (EPL). His target: Everton, a club that (outside of England) is only barely more famous than he is.
Not Ready for Takeoff
Liverpool-based Everton, a founding member of the EPL, dribbles in the shadow of its more successful crosstown rival, Liverpool FC (which already has American overlords in the form of Boston Red Sox owners Fenway Sports Group). Everton lost £120.9 million in the 2021 season and £140 million and £111 million in the two before that. The financial performance mirrors the product on the pitch, which resulted in 10th, 12th and 8th place finishes in those years (while financials for the latest fiscal year haven't been disclosed, Everton placed a disastrous 16th out of 20).
Kaminski, the team's potential new owner, was a fund manager in Poland who got megarich after immigrating to the US in the 1960s and building a portfolio of office buildings in Minneapolis. He has remained low-key, in keeping with Minnesota's unassuming regional attitude. And the Toffees, as Everton are known, haven't won the top English flight since 1987 or a major trophy since 1995, meaning they will fit right in with Minneapolis' bannerless Timberwolves and Vikings. The acquisition would also further seismic shifts taking place in global sports ownership:
- Half of the Premier League's 20 clubs will have American shareholders if Kaminski's offer, worth about £400 million according to the Financial Times, is successful. A US consortium led by Todd Boehly bought London's Chelsea FC for £2.5 billion earlier this year after sanctions against its Russian oligarch owner Roman Abramovich forced a sale.
- Everton's current owner, Farhad Moshiri, has been looking for financing this year after sponsorship deals with Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov were stopped, also due to sanctions. Everton has £500 million plans for a new stadium and the uncertainty over financing may have convinced Moshiri to reconsider previous pledges not to sell.
That Stings: With a record $6.2 billion last year, the EPL is the fourth highest earning sports league in the world, trailing only the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association. Soccer may still not be a top draw in the US, but it has a very solid fan base among American billionaires.