Blog: US food industry exec next to invest in English football
Dean Best | 9 November 2010
Food industry entrepreneur invests in English football team. No, not Indian poultry giant Venky's agreeing to buy top-flight side Blackburn Rovers. We had that a couple of weeks ago. This time, the investment comes from the US and the beneficiary is a little-known team in the north east.
US billionaire Robert Rich - said to be among the world's 500 richest men - has invested in amateur outfit Bedlington Terriers, a team eight leagues below the Premier League where US businessmen from Randy Lerner to John W. Henry have snapped up sides.
Rich, chairman of desserts-to-barbecue meats supplier Rich Products Corp., is to ship a GBP30,000 electronic scoreboard to the Terriers' ground. He has also become a shirt sponsor and put an undisclosed amount of cash into the club, according to reports.
The 69-year-old, said to be worth around US$2bn, became interested in the Terriers when his wife bought him the title of Lord of Bedlington.
"I haven't made any promises. Having said that, I would love to see them do well and let them challenge me to increase our participation," Rich, who owns three US baseball teams, told north-east newspaper The Journal.
"I want to help Bedlington Terriers. I'm still learning about British football, and I understand that if they do well on the field it can move up in divisions. If this is the dream the community has, I want to help. I don't want to become an owner – I just want to help."
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