Former Premier League chief Richard Scudamore has partnered with one of the world’s leading private equity investors in elite sports as pressure from a pandemic increases on homeowners’ finances. teams and governing bodies around the world.
Sky News has learned that Mr Scudamore has started working with CVC Capital Partners, the former owner of Formula 1 motor racing and the new funder of the Rugby Union Six Nations Championship.
City sources said Mr Scudamore signed a contract with CVC earlier this year to start working as a senior advisor.
His appointment has not been publicly announced, although it was confirmed by insiders on Tuesday.
Mr Scudamore’s new role adds him to a CVC team that includes Simon Denyer, the founder and former boss of DAZN, the sports streaming service.
It comes amid a glut of deals involving some of the world’s most lucrative and important sports franchises, with players like Six Nations Rugby, Italian Serie A, New Zealand All Blacks and the squad. McLaren F1 all aiming for new capital injections to support them. through the COVID-19 crisis and its consequences.
Private equity firms have identified the pandemic as an opportunity to deploy capital into sustainable sports brands at potentially attractive valuations, while using their expertise in areas such as media and broadcast rights.
Mr Scudamore signed a three-year non-compete agreement with the Premier League when he stepped down as executive chairman at the end of 2018, preventing him from working with a rival competition or a bidder for his rights media until the end of this year.
His role at CVC, which has spent over £ 500million on the rights of leading national and international rugby unions over the past two years, is considered global and aims to cover the sporting landscape.
CVC, the Luxembourg-based private equity firm, made billions of pounds in profits from a ten-year investment in F1, having also previously owned the MotoGP series.
He has since turned to off-piste sports with major investments in a series of rugby assets and a $ 300 million partnership – announced in February – with the International Volleyball Federation.
The investment firm was also disputing a deal to buy a stake in a new company that would own the commercial rights to the Italian Serie A football league – the English Premier League equivalent.
This deal has stalled in recent months due to political battles within Serie A, part of which involved Andrea Agnelli, the president of Juventus.
Mr. Agnelli was among the principal architects of the European Super League project which practically collapsed in spectacular fashion last month a few hours after the announcement of its launch.
The six English clubs that had signed up for the UEFA split – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – now face a Football Association investigation as well as a major hole in the bank. their finances.
Mr Scudamore criticized the owners of the six clubs, accusing them of “changing the dynamics [of English football] always.
“I can’t explain why none of them thought it was a good idea,” he reportedly said last month.
“I’m the person who told them for years that this was a crazy idea and that it couldn’t happen.”
Since leaving the Premier League, where he was the fulcrum for a dramatic increase in the competition’s domestic and foreign media rights, Mr Scudamore has joined the Ryder Cup committee of the European Golf Circuit.
He also became an advisor to top Australian football and Major League Baseball on business strategy, although those roles have since ended.
Last fall, he joined the board of directors of RedBall Acquisition Corp, a new “blank check” company formed to acquire an asset in the sports, media or entertainment industries.
RedBall pursued a merger that would have seen Fenway Sports Group, the owner of Premier League champions Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox, become a New York-listed company.
Those talks failed, but RedBird Capital Partners, RedBall’s sponsor, instead agreed to buy a $ 735 million stake in FSG privately.
CVC declined to comment on Tuesday.