San Diego’s MLS team ‘could launch THURSDAY’ and will be bought for $500m by British-Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour – chief treasurer of the Conservative Party
A British-Egyptian billionaire linked to the Conservative Party in England is closing in on a new Major League Soccer franchise team in San Diego.
According The Times of LondonMohamed Mansour is set to pay $500m (£400m) as the 30th MLS team and an announcement could be made as early as Thursday.
MLS commissioner Don Garber said in February that launching a 30th team was a priority for him, telling DailyMail.Com: “San Diego and Las Vegas are the most likely.”
“The 30th team will come soon. We would like this to be announced by the end of the year.
Mansour, worth $3.6 billion according to Forbes, was appointed chief treasurer of the Conservative Party by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last December. He will co-own it alongside the local Sycuan tribe.
He is also the majority shareholder of Danish football club Nordsjaelland but studied in the United States when he was a student.
It is believed that the San Diego team will join Major League Soccer in 2025, a year before the World Cup is held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The $500 million paid for the San Diego franchise is a new MLS record – significantly eclipsing the $325 million paid for Charlotte FC in 2019.
This season, St Louis City have joined MLS as an expansion team and have been one of the league’s biggest bright spots of the 2023 season so far.
The team is currently third in the Western Conference and has won its first five games.
The imminent arrival of San Diego also now means that 15 teams will compete in each conference.
The San Diego Wave, which joined the National Women’s Soccer League in 2022, set a league single-game attendance record of 32,000 against Angel City FC last September.