The Philadelphia Union have a new minority ownership group, according to a report published yesterday. Union CEO and Managing Partner Nick Sakiewicz confirmed a report by Philly Soccer News that Eric, Richard and Steve Graham have invested in the team.
The brothers are lead by Youth Sports Complex President Richard, who is also the Managing Principal of Striker Partners, which is an affiliate company of the Graham Group. The investment by the Graham family could potentially be a game changer for the young Union franchise due to the Graham Group's nearly $3 billion in net assets, according to the Striker Partner's website.
[Editor's note: It has been pointed out to me, through Twitter, that accessing the assets would mean going through a process that most likely isn't 'smart' for investment businessmen. However, I felt it prudent to include the possibility of accessing such funds.]
Those assets could prove to be vital to future personnel moves by the Union, who have been linked to Nicolas Anelka this week, a striker that has a 10.6 million euros-a-year price tag on him currently. In the past the Union have also been linked to Ryan Giggs, Clarence Seedorf and other possibly high priced foreign talent, making the addition of a group of wealthy investors important to future designated player acquisitions. The billionaire owners of both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls have been able to leverage their personal assets and wealth into prime talent for their respective teams.
Additionally, if the Striker Partners investment criteria is to be used as a benchmark for the Graham brothers' investment in the Union, then the future appears bright for the business side of the club. The investment firm acquires stakes in companies that fulfill a list of important financial indicators, which include growing markets, that are established but with growth potential, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between $1-5 million. Based upon those criteria, the Union are potentially in a very strong place financially now and in the future.