Gareth Bale to LAFC + LAFC to purchase stakes in Angel City

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[Gareth Bale free transfer]

Gareth Bale of Wales has confirmed his move to LAFC in Major League Soccer, posting a video on Saturday posing in the club’s gear. When the MLS transfer window opens on July 7, he will be eligible to play for LAFC, and he could make his debut against rival Los Angeles Galaxy at home the following day.

Bale played for Real Madrid for eight seasons, winning five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles. After a $106 million move from Tottenham before the 2013-14 season, he scored 97 goals in LaLiga (80) and the Champions League (17). However, his final season at the club was cut short by injury, and he appeared in just seven games, starting four of them.

[LAFC to buy stake in ACFC]

According to Sportico, while LAFC and Angel City have a stadium-share agreement with revenue sharing in terms of merchandise, tickets, and concessions sold to the MLS team, LAFC contributes personnel help on the ticketing and consulting sides. However, if LAFC so desires, they can purchase an equity stake during the four-year term of the stadium lease agreement. 

The cost of that purchase was not disclosed, and it is unclear whether LAFC could purchase a stake large enough to have a say in club operations, or if their investment would simply be “over the top” of the existing funding from the massive ownership group, with the leadership team remaining as it is.

As Angel City builds an impressive debut season, LAFC’s interest in owning equity in the NWSL club could transform from a good-hearted gesture to a sound business decision. While there is some overlap between the fanbases of the respective clubs, it is far from total, with consistent market research showing that season ticket holders for MLS and NWSL clubs in the same market rarely overlap beyond a mere 10%.

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LAFC Gareth Bale 06292022