Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour has reached an agreement with Ghana’s Right To Dream (RTD) which will see his newly established Man Sports entity assume majority control of the famous football academy.
Under the terms of the partnership worth, a reported $120m, Man Sports will now run RTD with its founder Tom Vernon remaining the other “significant shareholder”.
Mr Mansour, the Founder and Chairman of Man Capital who has a personal net worth of $2.5billion will become the Chairman of the Board of RTD, while his son, Mr Loutfy Mansour, the CEO of Man Capital, will become a Board member of the Akrade-based academy which was established in 1999 by former Manchester United scout Vernon.
A Right to Dream statement said the investment will help the iconic football institution expand and recruit more young players to hone their talents for the country.
“Man Capital LLP (“Man Capital”), owned by the famous Egyptian family, has formed the new footballing partnership with the Ghanaian outfit to also increase the coaching opportunities to retired former Ghana players to become world-class coaches,” the statement said.
“The investment in Right To Dream by Man Capital, the UK-based investment arm of the Egyptian Mansour Group, a family-owned global conglomerate, is being made through Man Sports, a new entity established for the partnership, and will see investment designated to expand the activities of the Right To Dream academy in Ghana”.
The academy has produced 20 Ghana internationals since it was founded including Strasbourg’s Abdul Majeed Waris, Ajax Amsterdam’s Mohammed Kudus and Nashville SC’s David Accam.
Women’s Pro team
The academy will also make its first foray into North Africa with plans to establish a new RTD academy for boys and girls in West Cairo.
“Investment will also support the creation of a new pro women’s team to be formed in Egypt shortly after the academy launches, expansion of the women’s and girl’s programmes across the organisation, also including the establishment of a professional women’s team in Ghana in the next 5 years, and the exploration of UK opportunities at club and academy level,” the statement said.
Speaking about the investment, Mr Mansour, Chairman and Founder of Man Capital, said he was proud to be joining the inspirational and life-changing work RTD undertakes with talented boys and girls across Africa, Europe and the Americas.
“We have long taken a close interest in the work they are doing and are delighted to be announcing our partnership today. Not only are we a family of football fans, indeed my uncle Mostafa Kamel Mansour even represented Egypt in the 1934 World Cup, but we are committed to supporting communities across Africa, through our foundations and other philanthropic activities,” he said.
Mr Vernon, who remains the CEO of Right to Dream Group, said the partnership helps RTD to move into the next stage of its global expansion, “putting people and purpose at the centre of football. With the support of the Mansour family, we are creating a new standard of purpose-driven sports for clubs and players and building the leaders of tomorrow.”
The academy has also made a raft of new appointments across the organisation, namely Mohammed Wasfy as MD of the new Right To Dream academy to be launched in Egypt, Pippa Grange taking on a permanent role as Group Chief Culture Officer, and Jan Laursen being promoted into the role of Chairman of FC Nordsjælland.
Meanwhile, Mr Eddie Mensah has been named the new MD of RTD Ghana.
Mansour, 72, oversees family conglomerate Mansour Group, which was founded by his father Loutfy (D.1976) in 1952 and has 60,000 employees
He established General Motors dealerships in Egypt in 1975, later becoming one of GM’s biggest distributors worldwide.
Mansour Group also has exclusive distribution rights for Caterpillar equipment in Egypt and seven other African countries.
He served as Egypt’s Minister of Transportation from 2006 to 2009 under the Hosni Mubarak regime.
His brothers Yasseen and Youssef, who share ownership in the family group, are also billionaires; his son Loutfy heads private equity arm Man Capital.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University and is married with two children.
Mansour’s father lost his fortune, when Egypt’s then-president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, expropriated his cotton trading company in 1964.