Walsall set to buy stadium freehold following takeover

US-based sports investment firm Trivela Group has become the new majority shareholder of English League Two football club Walsall, with the team set to execute a purchase option on its home stadium within two years as part of the agreement.

The transaction, which has been discussed for around a year, will take place in two phases. The first phase was executed last week and saw Trivela purchase 51% of the shares of Walsall from Leigh Pomlett. Trivela has also injected additional capacity directly into the club for strategic investments.

The second phase will take place within two years and will see Trivela acquire an additional 25% shareholding from Pomlett. The phase will bring forward additional resources to allow Walsall to execute the existing purchase option on Poundland Bescot Stadium and the surrounding property.

Walsall said in a statement that facilitating and completing the purchase of the stadium freehold is a “top priority” for the new ownership group.

Trivela is building towards a multi-club ownership model in global football. The company was formed last year by US businessmen Benjamin Boycott and Kenneth Polk. Boycott will join Walsall’s board of directors and serve as co-chairman alongside Pomlett, who has agreed to stay on as co-chairman for four years to ensure a smooth transition.

Polk is founder and chief executive of Arlington Family Offices, which serves individual families and has more than $12bn (£9.6bn/€11.2bn) in capital under advisement.

Boycott said: “We are honoured to become a part of the community of Walsall, and to play a part in the rich history of this club. As investors, we are extremely drawn to the passion that this town has for the team, and extremely impressed with the work that management has done to build a sustainable football club.

“We are here to learn, and we are here to support Leigh and the rest of the executive leadership team with strategic vision and strategic capital. We look forward to working alongside the leadership team to support (manager) Michael Flynn, the staff, and players as we prepare for the 22-23 campaign and beyond.”

Pomlett added: “This partnership with Trivela Group ushers in a very positive chapter in the history of Walsall Football Club. Stefan Gamble and I have been in discussion with them for nearly 12 months, have visited with them in the United States, and believe that they are the right group with the right vision to help take the club forward.

“The supporters will have the opportunity to see the impact of this partnership firsthand, as the Saddlers Club will be refurbished and reopened, and the club will execute its purchase option and be reunited with the Poundland Bescot Stadium freehold. As both chairman and a supporter, this is a very exciting day for Walsall Football Club.”

Variety store chain Poundland acquired naming rights to Bescot Stadium back in April as part of a three-year deal.

Image: Elliott Brown/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size