Binnie reported looking to buy soccer team in England
Carlisle Capital founder said to offer over $37 million for Champions League club
New Hampshire developer and investor Bill Binnie wants to place a bet on football, not in the USA, but on soccer in England , and not on a game but on the troubled Champions League team Derby County Football Club.
According to numerous sources across the pond, Carlisle Capital, the Portsmouth-based venture capital fund that Binnie founded and owns, has submitted an offer of 28 million British pounds – the equivalent of about $37.6 million – on the second-tier club, which is also known as the Rams.
The Rams, which are based in Derbyshire, apparently have been butting heads with the rival clubs Middlesbrough and Wycombe. Derby allegedly owes both of the clubs money, and if it doesn’t they don’t pay up, they could lose points – and if they lose enough points, they could be dropped down from the Championship League to the third-tier League One. (The top league – the league Manchester United plays in – is the Premier League.)
Binnie is also known as the owner of Binnie Media, a group of radio stations and for a while a TV station that he since sold off – as well as his political ambitions. Binnie tried to get the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in 2010, but lost to Kelly Ayotte. In that race, part of Binnie’s business record was used against him, including his moving some jobs down to Mexico. Last month, Binnie said he is considering going for it again in an attempt to challenge Ayotte’s successor, Maggie Hassan.
(Binnie also owns the building where NH Business Review is located. In other words, he is this publication’s landlord.)
It’s not clear whether the soccer bid is Binnie’s idea or Adam Binnie’s, Carlisle vice president and Binnie’s son.
There was no response to requests for an interviews from each at deadline, but several reports said that Adam is spearheading the move.
Carlisle has financed projects all over the world, but it doesn’t seem to have invested in British soccer. Binnie was born in Scotland but emigrated to the United States at an early age.
There are other groups interested in buying Derby County, including ex-Derby chairman Andy Appleby and Mike Ashley, former owner of Newcastle United, which is also in the Premier League. But Binnie is the only one so far who has put money on the table. His bid however doesn’t include the stadium where the team plays, and soccer watchers in England are wondering how anyone can make a go of it without the stadium, given the club’s debt and disputes.
However, most are glad that someone is kicking off a formal bid to get the ball rolling, so to speak.