Shropshire Star

American consortium invests in AFC Telford United

An American consortium has invested in AFC Telford United, purchasing 21 per cent of the club.

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Shropshire-born Hollywood producer Chris Ball is heading the consortium, made up of 15 US businessmen with a range of backgrounds in finance and investment firms, real estate and the film and television industries.

Their plan is to have the Bucks operating on 'a break even or near break even basis' and Ball – who grew up in Wellington – cannot wait to get going.

He said: "Being a Shropshire lad and a huge football fan, I have been a lifelong supporter of AFC Telford United.

"I am thrilled, therefore, to have been able to put together a group of close friends, who all love football to make an investment in the club.

"In our minds, the football club has to be sustainable and must endeavour to operate on a break even or near break even basis.

"Success on and off the pitch are very much intertwined and our consortium is looking to be an active and engaged group of investors.

"We are very much looking forward to working with Ian Dosser, Steven Pryce, Walter Gleeson, Jo Warrilow and the rest of the team.’’

Ball spent 15 years in the banking industry before co-founding Newmarket Films in 1994.

He sold that Los Angeles-based film finance, production and distribution company 15 years later having been involved in more than 300 films – including The Usual Suspects, The Prestige, Memento , Donnie Darko and The Passion of the Christ.

Then in 2010, he co-founded Wrekin Hill Entertainment – a niche film distribution and production company.

Ian Dosser – who became interim chairman of Telford when Andy Pryce stepped down last month – said: “This investment from the US consortium materially adds to the sustainability of AFC Telford United.

"I have known Chris Ball since 2016 and I am very confident that Chris and his fellow investors will prove to be excellent shareholders and partners for AFC Telford United.

"This US consortium will bring a broad range of skills and commercial experience from their respective fields to the football club, which will enhance the experienced management board already delivering excellent results.

"We are very much looking forward to working with our new US shareholders as we believe that this investment represents an exciting opportunity for the club.

"I would like to thank Chris, all members of the US consortium, Steve Pryce, Walter Gleeson and Jo Warrilow for their part in structuring and finalising this deal and wish to acknowledge that their combined efforts, expertise and sound commercial acumen has been an invaluable asset in helping our club reach this very significant milestone."

Ten other members of the consortium have also been named:

Mark Albert – managing director of HPS Investment Partners.

John Bertram – vice-chairman of London-based Savills Inc of North America and principal of Saber Realty Advisors.

George Davis – chairman of Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management.

Steven Glick – formerly group legal director of Ladbrokes PLC and executive vice-president on Paramount Pictures who is now a principal of New York-based GPG Properties and a director of Gipper Media.

Dan James – co-chairman of Prime Group.

Kenneth Karmin – a principal at High Street Holdings and chief executive of Ortho Mattress Inc.

Benn Konner – a managing director with Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management group.

John Nendick – founder of Malaga Consulting and a board member, investor and advisor to various technology, media and sports businesses, including Computershare, Eved and the Los Angeles Kings ice hockey team.

Mick Partridge – founder of the Partridge Estates Group in Beverly Hills.

Mike Suby – award-winning music composer for television and film, including for Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, The Butterfly Effect and The Courier.