Legendary quarterback Tom Brady shocked the sporting world 3 weeks ago when he was announced as the minority owner of Birmingham City FC. The 7-time Super Bowl champion joined forces with fellow American Tom Wagner, the co-founder of the Blues’s new owners Knighthead Capital Management LLC. The 46-year-old is set to become chairman of a new advisory board at St. Andrew’s.
Brady will be investing in the club, as well as committing his time and expertise as a sporting icon. The move will see Blues fans dreaming of success, and a return to the promised land of the Premier League. American owners have already made a successful mark in English football, with the Glazer family at Manchester United, FSG at Liverpool, and the Kroenke’s at Arsenal all bringing success to their clubs.
The unexpected acquisition of Brady evokes similar feelings to the recent takeover of Wrexham by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The difference here is that Brady is coming at it from a position of experience, having been an elite level athlete for two decades.
Just how much influence and involvement TB12 might have on the inner workings of Birmingham City is unclear for now, but there will be a positive feeling in the air. Knighthead Capital bringing Brady on board could also be very useful for endorsement deals moving forward, as well as increasing the profile of the club in the United States, where football is still a growing market.
The general financial state of the club is not great, but the involvement of Brady should be enough to give it at least a temporary shot in the arm. And, if results on the pitch are positive as a result, this could see a spike in attendance, which is no bad thing.
However, it is important to remember that Brady is not on the board of directors, and it’s unclear how much power he will hold. It feels likely that this is more of a sponsorship-type deal, with the New England Patriots legend acting in a role similar to as global ambassador for the club, as well as attracting the interest of companies who might be open to lucrative sponsorship deals with City.
This is something that could have a positive influence on the club moving forward, and there is reason for fans to be optimistic. With two wins from their opening two games of the season (at time of writing), it seems the Tom Brady Effect has been positive for the team. There will be renewed hope among the St Andrew’s faithful that this can spark a battle for promotion once again.