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The Real Struggle - Finding Partners/Investors - Ali's Words

Updated: Aug 2

Creating a football club, even in division 3, in Dubai is not a cheap process. When we sat with our accountants to work out the feasibility of the project, the budget turned out to be a whopping million dollars a year. This is a huge sum no doubt and you cannot afford to spend it all from your own pocket. This brings me to the subject of finding partners or investors who can team up to make this possible.

Finding partners or sponsors in football is quite hard. For expensive business ventures, it makes sense to have partners and investors who can share the burden of the expenses, but when it comes to football it is not as simple. The moment investors learn that it is a football business we are talking about, they back off. The question arises why there is so much fear attached to it and why the investors are so wary of partnering with a club. Actually, the football business is full of stories of failed ventures. The reason is simple: football people aren’t business minded. They step into it for the love of the game and do not know how to run it like a business.

Finding an investor or partner, therefore turned out to be the biggest challenge for us as well. Before the summer of this season, we went to the market and got in touch with different investors. We talked to 10 to 20 potential investors and got the same answer everywhere that we are not interested in the football business. So you can imagine the tough spot it lands you in. You create the football club and need investors to fund it, but no one is willing to step up. This is the dilemma for anyone wanting to start a football business.

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