New Zealand will soon have two teams in the A-League Men’s competition, and a second women’s team in the Liberty A-League. Bill Foley, a 78-year-old American businessman, owns Premier League club AFC Bournemouth in the United Kingdom, has a stake in FC Lorient in France, and heads a consortium of owners who control the Las Vegas Knights, an expansion ice hockey team in the United States. Foley’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.6 billion. He has been granted the newest A-League license, with the men’s team set to join the competition in 2024/25 and the women’s team a season later. Foley’s investment into the A-League is much needed, and his presence is expected to benefit the competition. Despite some reluctance, the investment of Foley and the sheer logic of the numbers suggest that Auckland will make a far bigger immediate splash in the A-Leagues than the arrivals of Western United and Macarthur FC, in spite of the fact that United did manage to win a premiership in quick time. Foley is also eyeing investment in Scottish Premier League club Hibernian, further reinforcing his commitment to sport. With the positivity surrounding the game right now, Foley’s entrance to the APL seems like a no-brainer and a potential coup for the A-League. The competition has been burnt in the past by certain individuals failing to bring promised success, but Foley appears to be different. If only more local billionaires would invest in the game, the A-Leagues might stand a chance of growing exponentially over the next decade. Welcome aboard Auckland, I look forward to the away day.

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