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Off The Pitch

SMRF Capital aims to provide funding to clubs with revenue growth ambitions. It operates as a hybrid between a bank loan provider and a private equity fund, but without taking ownership or interfering with football decisions.

  • Marcus Luer, a founding partner, expects to engage in a handful of deals in the football sector, targeting clubs with €100 million or more in revenues. "Avoiding relegation is the challenging part," he acknowledges.

  • Why it matters: The ownership landscape in European football is evolving with the influx of institutional money. This represents a new form of growth capital.

  • The perspective: For clubs hesitant to welcome new co-owners, this could serve as a potential solution. However, they must be prepared for the lender to hold strong opinions on commercial decisions.

  • Marcus Luer sought to introduce a different type of institutional funding to the sports industry, particularly within football. This initiative arose in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which left many clubs struggling due to seasons without spectators and declining revenues across various sectors.

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