Tanzania’s Richest Man Offers $10M To Acquire Local Soccer Club

Tanzania’s Richest Man Offers $10M To Acquire Local Soccer Club

Mohammed Dewji, Tanzania’s richest man and one of Africa’s youngest billionaires, has offered  to buy a controlling stake in Simba SC, one of the most successful soccer clubs in the East African nation’s premier league.

The young billionaire, who was at one time a sponsor of the club, told journalists in Dar es Salaam on Friday that he wanted to transform Simba SC in to Africa’s most successful soccer club by bringing on board quality players and management team, Daily News reported.

Part of the investment — $2.5 million — will go towards modernizing the clubs stadium and improving the training ground as part of infrastructure development. It will also be invested into a youth development program.

“With this amount, we will be above all clubs in the country and (will be able to) compete in all areas,” Dewji said, adding that the Simba SC needed investors not sponsors, The Citizen reported.

The offer by the Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited  chief executive officer  now awaits approval by the clubs officials and changes in the clubs constitution to make it a limited company, before it can be appraised by regulators.

“I hope the transformation to a share-oriented ownership will be complete within three months. There will definitely be free shares for the members after this exercise is complete,” he said.

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Dewji said he expected his investment to be paid back with a 17.5 percent interest rate

“I promised that if Simba members will okay my proposal of buying the club’s stake, then I will be ready to provide money for the club to sign the best players.”

“I want to see Simba win CAF Champions League title,” Dewji, who was at the top of things when the club dismissed the then African Champions, Zamalek of Egypt, to make it into the group stage of the Champions League in 2003 said.

Simba SC was founded in 1936 by a group of community leaders in Dar es Salaam. It currently has a fan base of more than 10 million people and is constantly ranked amongst the top 3 clubs in the Tanzanian league, Forbes reported.

The club has however struggled with funding and cash flow problems in recent years and has failed to outshine its main rivals – Azam FC, a club owned by multimillionaire Said Bakhresa and Young Africans, which is owned by local businessman Yusuf Manji.