Last summer in Colorado, a public feud between the heirs to one of American football’s most successful franchises, the Denver Broncos, culminated in the richest takeover in sports history – the sale of the team for £3.87 billion.
The winning bidders for the Denver Broncos were a group led by America’s richest family, including Walmart heir Rob Walton, his daughter Carrie Walton Penner, her husband Greg Penner, Melody Hobson – Starbucks’ board chairman, and Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State.
Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One world champion of colour, was also recruited to the team by Hobson to help increase diversity in NFL boardrooms.
“It’s an honour and such an amazing opportunity,” Hamilton said following the sale.
“I remember when I was nine years old, I was in the UK for a short time on an American air base, and that was the first time I became aware of the NFL, and I was playing (video games) like crazy.
“There’s a real lack of black ownership (in the NFL) and I’m constantly pushing for diversity. There is a lot of work.”
The sale of the Broncos should serve as a cautionary tale for those linked to the sale of other teams, such as the Glazers, who were reportedly keen on selling Manchester United to a Saudi Arabia based consortium.
Since those reports, the Glazers have reportedly said Manchester United is not for sale, but this resolve may be tested if a formal offer is indeed lodged.
Interested parties in the sale of Manchester United include Josh Harris, a billionaire shareholder of Crystal Palace recently linked with a bid for the club, and the consortium fronted by Todd Boehly, whose consortium bought Chelsea.