Three years after it was announced that the wife of Ghanaian football star Michael Essien has bought a club in Europe, a Nigerian businesswoman has followed suit. Nneka Ede has bought the Portuguese football club, Lusitano Ginásio Clube, Futebol, SAD after a negotiation deal which was completed in June 2020.
A statement from the club said: “After months of negotiations with different entities, an agreement has been reached with Mrs Nneka Ede, a sports enthusiast and entrepreneur from Nigeria, a country filled with people as passionate and fiery about football as us and which incidentally share the same green and white in their flags, towards the transfer of the ownership of the SAD to the latter that will help us in our mission to take Lusitano to the next level.”
Ede has become the new owner of the club, which competes in the Campeonato de Portugal, the third division of Portugal’s football pyramid, the statement added.
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Founded on November 11, 1911, Lusitano have been in existence for 108 years now and chalked up many achievements before their relegation to the lower division in 1950.
The club have had it difficult returning to the topflight due to several reasons including finance, and so decided to “throw the shares open” before Ede bought the entire 100 percent shares, according to the Vanguard. The amount the business mogul actually paid to acquire the Portuguese side was not revealed.
Ede, who has had an interest in football from a very young age, works as a software developer and automation analyst for Chevron in Houston, Texas, United States.
As a sports enthusiast, she is elated about the acquisition of the Portuguese third division side.
“I am excited about this opportunity and I hope that this new chapter will deepen the already great sporting relations between Nigeria and Portugal, continue with the rich history of Lusitano club and provide a pathway for young talent to develop and shine through,” said Ede, who is now the second Nigerian to own a club in Europe after Nigerian business mogul Kunle Soname bought Portuguese football club Clube Desportivo Feirense in 2015.
Many people on social media are, however, not enthused about Ede’s move. Here are some of the reactions: