Incoming Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has outlined the key benefits of the club’s link-up with American side Atlanta United.
Last night, it was confirmed current vice-chairman Cormack will succeed Stewart Milne as Dons chief.
AMB Sports and Entertainment – the parent company of Atlanta United – is investing £2 million into AFC as part of a new package of investment, led by Cormack, totalling £5m. This will provide working capital for the club’s day to day operations.
As part of this, Darren Eales, the president of Atlanta, will join AFC’s board.
Cormack says the new strategic partnership between the clubs will have multiple plus points, including on scouting, explaining: “This collaboration between our clubs will deliver economies of scale by aligning both clubs on key football and business operation best practice.
“It will include shared agreement on worldwide player identification, assessment, recruitment and development. For example, we will be able to tap into their impressive scouting network across South America and, in return, we can assist them with identifying and assessing players in Europe.”
Stewart Milne, Dave Cormack & President of @ATLUTD, Darren Eales, are currently talking to the media at Pittodrie.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) November 25, 2019
Reds manager Derek McInnes – who already has attacker Jon Gallagher on loan from the Georgia-based outfit – says Atlanta’s scouting network could allow Aberdeen to find players in areas which would otherwise be “hard to navigate”.
He said: “We want to continue to be a competitive force in Scottish football and will now be in a position to further develop our player recruitment strategies, tapping into markets which otherwise may have been hard to navigate in terms of player identification.”
Meanwhile, Cormack also thinks Atlanta and Eales will be able to help “raise funds for the new stadium” – seemingly dispelling rumours plans for a £50m stadium at Kingsford will be shelved.
Eales led the development of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground – a $60m training facility that opened in 2017 and is widely considered one of the best facilities in North America.
He also spear-headed Atlanta’s transition into its new home, the 70,000-seater Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a world-class multi-use sports and entertainment complex.
British-born Eales – a former Cambridge United player, who has also worked for Tottenham, playing a key role in Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid – said: “We’re thrilled about this opportunity to partner with Aberdeen, a successful club with a long and proud history.
“The partnership is a natural fit, with synergies both on and off the pitch. We share the same commitment to our fans, our core values, community engagement and competitive results.
“We’re excited about what we can, together, achieve through a shared approach to football and commercial operations.
“This will be centred around mutual respect for AFC’s heritage and long footballing history and Atlanta’s innovation and progressive strategy. Together, we believe we can make an impact on supporting and driving both clubs and the wider game on both sides of the Atlantic.”