Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”

Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jordanian businessman, based in Abu Dhabi, first Arab to chair German soccer club

A German soccer club has elected an Abu Dhabi-based Jordanian businessman as its chairman, making him the first Arab to take the helm of one of the country’s teams.

Hasan Abdullah Mohamed Ismaik, a real estate and construction magnate, was elected by financially troubled second division TSV 1860 Munich after he invested $25.8 million investment in the club.

Mr. Ismaik’s investment bought him a 60 percent stake in the club, eleven per cent of which is non-voting stock. The acquisition brought 1860 Munich, burdened with a $27 million in debt, back from the brink of bankruptcy.
In a statement, Mr. Ismaik said that he felt “honored to be chairman of the supervisory board of TSV 1860, a club not only with a great tradition and identity, but also with a truly outstanding and passionate fan base.”

Mr. Ismaik hopes to return 1860 Munich to Germany’s premier league, the Bundesliga, from which it was relegated in 2004 by investing €20 million. He has agreed to pay €5 million of the club’s debt provided that creditors agree to waive some of the debt.

Mr. Ismaik said that he would “do everything to support the club and its management to make 1860 profitable again this season. We want to improve and elevate our game constantly, and clearly aim to successfully compete on the international level within a few years.”

The businessman made his acquisition through Marya, his Abu Dhabi investment vehicle, which has stakes in sports, design, construction, real estate, automotive, travel and, energy.

The acquisition of 1860 Munich is the second takeover in recent weeks of a European soccer club by businessmen in the UAE. Dubai-based Royal Emirates Group recently bought Spanish La Liga club Getafe FC for an estimated €90 million.

1860 Munich, a founding member of the Bundesliga, won the German championship but was overshadowed after that by its rival in the Bavarian capital, Bayern Munich.
The club was relegated in 2004 from the Bundesliga to the second division.

Mr. Ismaik sees the acquisition as a stepping stone to further takeovers in Germany. He is believed to be looking at establishing a €200 million fund for investments in Germany.

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