American billionaire set to own Auckland A-League club

Bill Foley. Photo: Getty Images
Bill Foley. Photo: Getty Images
Billionaire businessman Bill Foley has won the race to put an A-League team in Auckland and vowed the start-up franchise would be a "winning organisation".

Foley, who owns Premier League club Bournemouth, was named as the preferred bidder for the license by the Australian Professional Leagues today.

The Auckland team, which is yet to be given a moniker, is slated to enter sides into the A-League Men and A-League Women from the start of the 2024-25 season.

"Our goal will be to build a winning organisation while simultaneously serving the community and growing the sport - and passion for the sport - at all levels," Foley said in a statement.

"We are extremely excited to reach this stage in the process and look forward to the next steps."

As well as owning Bournemouth, the 79-year-old Foley has stakes in French Ligue 1 club Lorient and the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights.

The American-born businessman's wealth is $2.4 billion according to Forbes magazine.

The introduction of an Auckland club is set to be supplemented by the addition of an A-League Men team in Canberra.

"Auckland has been the largest city in Australia and New Zealand without a professional football team, despite football being the most popular team participation sport nationally in New Zealand," said A-Leagues commissioner Nick Garcia.

"We look forward to building on the success of the FIFA Women's World Cup, providing football fans in Auckland with their new home team."