American investment from VO2 Capital boosts Wakefield AFC
Wakefield AFC is set to expand its operations after receiving investment from American firm VO2 Capital.
The Connecticut-based family office have agreed a sponsorship deal and also have an option to acquire a majority stake in the club at a future date.
The new investment will allow Wakefield AFC to continue expanding its football operations, education programs, Youth Academy, and women's teams.
The investment amount was not disclosed, but as part of the deal, VO2 Capital will also sponsor a new football performance department that will work both on performance on the field and analytics for scouting and recruiting.
Guilherme Decca, a Brazilian-American founder and CEO of VO2 capital, will be part of Wakefield AFC's board of directors with executives Chris Turner and Mike Hegarty.
According to Decca: "It is a dream come true to get involved with football in the UK.
"Being born in Brazil, football is part of my DNA, and I've been following English football since the exploits of Gazza and co in Italia 90. Platt's goal against Belgium is still one of the most exciting moments I've experienced in football.
"In Wakefield, we found not only a big city without a club in the Football League but also a fantastic group of people working for the club, strong volunteer support, and no legacy issues that one would encounter in so many clubs in divisions above ours."
Regarding the club's goals, he said: "We want to build a serious and ambitious football operation while still maintaining community and fan participation.
We recognize there's a long way to go until we get to the level we want to be. However, we believe that a well-run club with community shareholders, partnerships with local businesses, no leverage/debt, and investment in data and performance analysis can grow fast and, more importantly, in a self-sustainable way."
Mike Hegarty, the association owner, commented on the investment: "We have a very special project here. Wakefield is a city of over 335,000 people and is by far the biggest city in the UK not to have a professional football club.
"We started the long journey of solving this matter a couple of years ago and have made great progress. The involvement of VO2 Capital and their financial support has been fantastic for the club and the city so far. However, it is their enthusiasm for the project that is the most compelling factor for us.
"We are firmly of the belief that the development of Wakefield AFC will soon reach all parts of the football world."