8:29 pm November 8, 2021
20:38 November 8, 2021
Ipswich Town co-owner Ed Schwartz insists the pension fund behind the recent takeover takes a long-term view of return on investment.
Schwartz is the CEO of ORG, the U.S. investment firm that manages funds on behalf of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), which owns 90% of Gamechanger 20, the new organization that took over Town in April.
He visited England this morning and was part of a panel that spoke to around 120 supporters at a fan forum in Portman Road this evening.
âWe are committed to making this a long-term, sustainable investment that the whole community can be proud of,â he said. âIt’s a community asset. We can represent the money behind it all, but this great football club is an asset to the community and we all need to remember that.
“We are looking for investments that have unique characteristics. This particular investment and their rarity in English football has made it quite unique. When we have had the opportunity to team up with what we believe to be the best team in handling all of football, and being able to identify a club that has such an incredible history, but that was so underrated, it was just too good to pass up.
âWe don’t see this as a game. It’s certainly risky, but all investments come with some type of risk. But we think the return we expect from this is more than offsetting us the risk. this as a great investment and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
âAs we embarked on this adventure and discovered things, we found more enthusiasm and more opportunities, literally every day. I feel more confident in this investment now that I never been. It’s pretty exciting. “
When asked if the club had to reach the Premier League for the pension fund to receive a return on investment, Schwartz replied: “It would provide us with the highest rate of return, but we believe there is things that we can do in the current situation, arriving in the league, where we can make a nice comeback. Of course, our goal is, at some point, to get to the Premier League. But it’s a step at a time.
âWe’re just excited to deliver a really exciting product today, very quickly, and to continue to build from there.
âAn investment like this is going to take many, many years. We’re here for the long term. That’s our goal, that’s our goal. The pension fund that we represent is a long-term investor and we take a very long-term approach in this regard.
“I hesitate to put an absolute timeline, but it’s been at least seven to 10 years that we’ve been talking about. In the third or fourth year, if we see it going a certain way, we can re-evaluate that and expand it. But it’s certainly a long time. It’s not a few years. “
He added: âA lot of people invest in soccer clubs and sports franchises as a toy or ego investment. It’s one way to do it – people have fun. We don’t adopt. this approach though.We take a very pragmatic return on investment approach.
âI would tell the fans where the money comes from is a good thing because we have to build long term sustainable success. We don’t just want to be promoted and then say ‘oh we have to cut the budgets where we are. relegated again. “We don’t want this situation. We want to be promoted, stay there and be able to take the next step.
âWe really care about what we build here. If and when we sell this, we would like to sell it to someone who would carry on the legacy that we plan to build. We don’t want to just go to the Premier League and have someone demolish it.
“Boy, that would be a nice problem to have though!” We are far from it at the moment. “
He added: âPensions investing in sports franchises is not that common, but I think it might become more common. We’ll see. When you think about it, it’s a suitable investment for a pension fund because it It’s a Long-Term Asset Many sports franchises have grown significantly in value if managed properly.
âThe interesting difference in the UK is that if they don’t perform well and don’t perform well, you can lose a lot of value very quickly by being relegated, which is different from the United States.
“Our view is that we bought, at a lower value, an asset that has potential and history. Ipswich was really the perfect scenario for us.”