Ugandan entrepreneur Marvin Lwasa has purchased an equity stake in London-based football consultancy Eden Sports.
The company, which specialises in talent procurement, sports investments and Premier League commercial partnerships, is currently in the advanced stages of purchasing two European football clubs, with the aim of helping young African players break into the continent.
“Due to work-permit restrictions in Europe, current legislation makes it increasingly difficult and sometimes impossible for African players to make the initial move to certain European countries,” said Mr Lwasa, a former aspiring footballer.
“In having a controlling stake in the ‘right football club’ this provides us autonomy over such decisions and allows for African players to be given more opportunities,” he said.
Eden Sports will identify players aged between 17-21 years old and supply them with elite coaching and training facilities in Europe, while also providing maximum exposure to showcase their talents on a global stage.
The founder Jordan Wise, who oversees the company’s strategic vision, has secured landmark multi- million-pound football transfers and commercial contracts with several leading Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
“We have always been deeply passionate about Africa and empowering the next generation,” said Wise. “I believe that by investing in today’s young talent, we can inspire and develop role models and future leaders of tomorrow.”
Eden Sports are in the final stages of purchasing football clubs in Scandinavia and Portugal, where there are more lenient non-EU player immigration policies.
Previously, players such as Aston Villa’s Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta have had to wait until their mid-twenties to make high-profile transfers to Europe, despite representing their country several times.
“Players of African origin dominate the game across the world’s top five leagues,” Wise added. “Having worked closely with Marvin scouting the continent for several years, I’m excited for him to now take ownership in the company and help activate the project.”
Commercial partnerships are Eden Sport’s secondary revenue stream, with experience in negotiating contracts and partnership opportunities for African companies with Premier League football clubs.