​DLA Piper scores goal with A-League purchase

Peter Godfrey
by |
The Melbourne-based partner who assisted English Premier League football giant Manchester City purchase local minnow Melbourne Heart, admits he has become a convert to the game.

DLA Piper partner Mark Burger provided essential legal advice to Manchester City on the acquisition of an 80% stake in the A-League team in January.
Burger believes the sporting deal is significant for the sector because its shows growing investor interest in Australian sporting tournaments such as the A-League and cricket’s Big Bash.
“Manchester City thinks that the A-League is a very credible and well-run league making it a natural place to seek an acquisition,” Burger told Australasian Lawyer.

“Melbourne is also widely regarded as Australia’s sporting city, so it was the right place for them to make their investment,” Burger added. 

Manchester City is owned by billionaire royal Sheikh Mansour who also serves as deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.  

The English club will share the ownership of Melbourne Heart with the rugby league team Melbourne Storm, who still own a 20% stake. 

Melbourne Heart are currently placed second last on the A-League table, but Burger expects the team will improve.

“They were certainly down and out beforehand but the deal will breathe some life into them.  Or at least the whole Melbourne Heart fan club will be hoping that’s the case,” Burger said.  

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