Former chairman and director sell Rochdale AFC shares

Date published: 05 June 2020


Former chairman of Rochdale AFC, Chris Dunphy and former director William Goodwin have sold their shareholdings in Rochdale AFC to Americans Dan Altman and Emre Marcelli.

The shares owned by former director Paul Hazlehurst, which were registered to his wife Elizabeth following his death in 2018, have also been sold to Mr Marcelli.

Based on the shareholdings listed in the club’s confirmation statement submitted to Companies House in June last year, Mr Altman and Mr Marcelli between them now own a 14.8% stake in Rochdale AFC.

It is understood that the share transfers took place last year, following the resignations of Mr Dunphy and Mr Goodwin from the board of directors in December 2018.

 

The Rochdale AFC Board of Directors pictures in 2017. From front left to right: David Bottomley, Andrew Kilpatrick, Russ Green, Chris Dunphy, John Smallwood, Paul Hazlehurst, Bill Goodwin, Andrew Kelly.
The Rochdale AFC board of directors pictured in 2017.
From front left to right: David Bottomley, Andrew Kilpatrick, Russ Green, Chris Dunphy, John Smallwood, Paul Hazlehurst, Bill Goodwin, Andrew Kelly.

 

Mr Altman and Mr Marcelli are both based in the USA and are managers of an investment group, NYK Capital Management LLC.

Mr Altman, a statistical analyst at Swansea City for two years, is the creator of an online scouting platform called smarterscout.com which covers dozens of leagues with advanced player and squad analytics.

Mr Altman is a Havard University graduate and his company North Yard Analytics is a consulting firm specializing in sports analytics, especially for football/soccer and its clients have included Premier League and Champions League clubs.

Emre Marcelli is a fund manager and credit risk expert. After a career in commercial and investment banking, he opened his own fund in New York. He also has significant experience in financial due diligence of lower-division football clubs in Europe.

In a statement, Mr Altman and Mr Marcelli said: “Our primary aim is to guarantee the club's long-term financial stability and success on the pitch.

“We believe the board, trust, and all of our fellow supporters share these goals, and we would like to put on record our profound respect for the men and women who have safeguarded the club until now.

“We are not billionaires, nor are we fronting for one. Rather, we believe that with some prudent investments and carefully attentive management, the club can grow in a sustainable way.

“Together with the implementation of our analytical tools and the resources of our global network in professional football, we hoped that these investments might equip the club to rise up the table in League One and eventually compete for a place in the Championship.”

A statement released by Rochdale AFC's board of directors says: "Companies named North Yard Analytics and Gergedan, owned by Dan Altman and Emre Marcelli respectively, have acquired shares in RAFC. This occurred through the process of a share transfer whereby the shares were purchased privately from existing shareholders. Consequently, RAFC has not benefited financially from the transaction and there was no requirement for the board of directors or shareholders to authorise the transaction. 

"Prior to this RAFC had been approached about a potential investment opportunity. Discussions were held – under the protection of a non-disclosure agreement – but those discussions stalled last year. At this time no further discussions are planned.

"The directors continue to explore options for outside investment into the club but would like to reiterate that any potential investment options will be carefully assessed to ensure that the long-term future of the club is protected for this and future generations of our fans."

 

Dan Altman
Dan Altman

 

In their statement, Mr Altman and Mr Marcelli say that they have visited the club’s facilities and believe that ‘the club could benefit from full-time management on the sporting side, especially by people with deep expertise in professional football’.

It also says that they have expressed an interest in investing in the club, principally for these purposes:

  • a permanent training ground to include facilities for the academy
  • replacement of the pitch at the Crown Oil Arena
  • a full-time sporting director
  • funds to bolster the squad
  • additional commercial staff

Mr Altman and Mr Marcelli’s statement closed with: “We have had the great pleasure of watching matches at the Crown Oil Arena and have witnessed first-hand the affection and passion that the supporters have for this club.

“We are proud to be among you and will be cheering the squad along with you when play resumes.”

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