A few months ago, Joseph DaGrosa outlined to CBS Sports his plans to recreate a multi-club City Football Group-style outfit with an “anchor club” in either the Premier League or La Liga with a selection of satellite clubs backed up by prolific academies in different continents.
However, KFG is now changing tack after talks over a potential acquisition of “by far our number one target” Southampton went cold, and the group is closing on “prominent” clubs in Belgium, Brazil, and Portugal with six academies across South America and Africa.
“We put a lot of time and effort into understanding [Southampton’s] business and financial approach,” said DaGrosa of the Saints interest. “As the saying goes, time kills all deals. We had a different view to the seller and concluded it best to move on.
“We were in negotiations with various clubs, but the deal has to make sense for our investors at the end of the day and whether or not we are buying at the right valuation. Unfortunately, the price at which we were offered to buy did not align with our strategy and financial expectations. We want to have a healthy and strong club to optimize and grow. This strategy will be more profitable and in less time.”
DaGrosa has been looking to get back into the European game since an ill-fated spell with Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 1 and KFG’s preference was the Premier League and La Liga with Newcastle United also linked with the group earlier this year.
However, after assessing various other England- and Spain-based opportunities, KFG concluded that “producing the best players in the world that will command top dollar” is a better route for them to emulate CFG with the idea of feeding competitions like Major League Soccer with talent instead of buying there.
“These three clubs from Brazil, Portugal and Belgium are essentially going to replace the anchor club,” said DaGrosa. “Brazil and Portugal are top-flight while Belgium is second tier with top-tier pedigree and our idea is to get them back to the first division.
“We are planning for two years to get them back to the top division and we are pretty confident we can make that happen with our talent pool coming from the academies. We are in a position to move a number of players into Belgium that will make it really first class.”
According to CBS Sports’ sources, although DaGrosa would not confirm the identity of the three clubs, the Brazilian outfit is believed to be based in Belo Horizonte while the Belgian club is in the Brussels region with Portugal set to follow shortly.
As for the satellite clubs, Uruguay, Colombia, and Bolivia have been secured in South America while Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso will represent Africa with DaGrosa estimating a closed deal on all three clubs within the next few months as KFG “create a player development platform that can become a dominant force in the international player transfer market.”
On top of those changes, Francisco Lopez has now joined as senior partner of KFG after his time as Business Director with CFG and DaGrosa’s partner Hugo Varela is now CEO as he also leads the charge on the player development and trading side.
You can follow the fortunes of KFG’s new team in the Brasileirao via CBS Sports/Paramount+’s exclusive American coverage as they seek to uncover the next exciting Brazilian talent with a view to bringing them to Europe — the home of the UEFA Champions League.