Explained: £239m NSWE plan will have huge impact at Aston Villa
Aston Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens (NSWE) are looking to start the 30th Major League Soccer franchise in the United States.
In a move that will have huge benefits for Villa, Sawiris and Edens would make “progress” with MLS to train Las Vegas villains.
Many attempts have been made to field an MLS team in one of America’s most iconic destinations, but NSWE has set the wheels in motion and an announcement could be made next year.
MLS will grow to 28 members with the entry of Charlotte FC next season, then jump to 29 when St. Louis City comes on board in 2023. Las Vegas Villains would become the 30th member and, according to reports, the team could join the league. in 2024.
“As one of the world’s premier sports and entertainment markets with a rapidly growing and diverse community, Las Vegas is the perfect location for an expansion MLS team,” Sawiris and Edens said in a statement. .
“We believe that the growing popularity of football and the development of talent in the United States puts MLS on the path to becoming one of the best leagues in the world. This is an important step in strengthening our relationship with the MLS.
“We are optimistic that we will soon reach a final agreement to bring a world-class franchise and significant economic and cultural benefits to the greater Las Vegas community.”
MLS commissioner Don Garber revealed last year that the league’s latest expansion squad would be ‘announced within the next 12 months’ after reports suggested it would cost Sawiris and Edens around 239 million pounds sterling for the MLS team license.
If NSWE starts another football club in the third biggest country in the world, Villa will reap the rewards. The franchise name “Villains”, for starters, will only promote the club’s brand to a population of 331 million people. The Villa Park participants would prefer the ‘Villans’, but the connection between the two clubs would be clear.
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Many Premier League clubs outside of the established top flight have attempted to break into the US market with pre-season tours and training camps in recent years. Villa tried it themselves in 2019, shortly after being promoted to the Premier League.
Having another club with the same owners, similar colours, name and crest should increase club awareness in a country where interest in football (soccer) is growing rapidly.
If all goes according to plan, Las Vegas could even become a Villa youth loan destination in the coming years. Villa would be able to control the development of their teenagers in a first-team environment, eliminating the hassle of pandering to EFL managers and sporting directors.
American youngster Indiana Vassilev sampled MLS with Inter Miami last year and the loan moves across the pond would no doubt appeal to Villa’s next generation of child prodigies.
The Las Vegas villains could essentially become a feeder club for Villa. They could find and develop American talent before sending their most prized players to Bodymoor Heath.
The United States is now producing world-class footballers and national team coach Gregg Berhalter has a squad that has the potential to progress to the later stages of a World Cup in the not-too-distant future.
Players such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Giovanni Reyna and Sergino Dest – all of whom are 23 and under – shine a light on America’s improving soccer academies.
Villa faces fierce competition to secure the Pulisics of the future, but having a base in one of America’s most attractive states would boost their chances.
NSWE have been looking to add another club to their portfolio for some time and Las Vegas Villains now appear to be full steam ahead.
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