Meet Jahm Najafi as US billionaire linked with Tottenham takeover

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Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi is reportedly preparing a “blockbuster £3.1bn ($3.8bn) takeover bid” for Tottenham Hotspur. The 60-year-old is a minority shareholder in NBA side Phoenix Suns, is looking to become the latest Premier League club owner from the United States.

That is according to the Financial Times, who state they were informed by “two people with direct knowledge” of the plans.

Najafi, who formely studied at Harvard University, is the chair of MSP Sports Capital and is “working with a consortium of investors to structure the bid”.

He is also a member on the board of the NBA and is the vice-chairman of McLaren Racing, and is clearly a huge sports fan. 

And now he is just “weeks away from formally approaching Spurs owner Joe Lewis and the football club’s chair Daniel Levy” with his offer.

The Enic Group currently owns 86.58 per cent of the club and is headed up by billionaire Lewis alongside Levy.

Najafi’s bid will be structured so that 70 per cent of the purchase price will be put forward by MSP and the partners recruited.

And the other 30 per cent will be made up by backers from the Middle East, which are allegedly mainly based in Abu Dhabi.

The Najafi-led consortium also have an interest in the real estate and development right available through owning the team, according to one source in the story.

A consortium led by US financier Todd Boehly and private equity group Clearlake Capital bought Chelsea last year for around £2.5bn ($3m).

Another investor group, which was led by Bill Foley, also purchased Bournemouth for £120m ($145m).

Since moving into their stunning new ground in 2019, the Tottenham Stadium has hosted a number of other large and money-spinning sporting events, including NFL, boxing, rugby as well as music concerts.

The club reported revenues of £444m ($536m) in the year that ended June 2022, which was a major increase from the £361m ($435m) the previous season – although they recorded a £50m ($60m) net loss.

News of the potential takeover is certain to excite frustrated supporters, who have regularly protested against the men in charge of leading the club to success. 

Despite having the much-sought Antonio Conte as manager and the club’s new record goalscorer Harry Kane in attack, Spurs last lifted silverware in 2008 when they won the League Cup.

Their last league title came way back in 1961 and their current form shows no signs the barren run will end any time soon.

They are currently fifth in the Premier League, two points behind fourth-placed Newcastle, and face an uphill task to progress in this season’s Champions League.

Conte’s men lost 1-0 at AC Milan last night in the first-leg of their last-16 clash on Tuesday night, with West Ham visiting in the Premier League this Sunday.

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