The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paystack, Shola Akinlade, has bought a 55 percent stake in a second-division Danish club, Aarhus Fremad.
The 76-year-old Danish club will become a sister club to Sporting Lagos FC, a Lagos-based football club in the Nigeria National League founded by Akinlade in 2022.
According to a statement by Sporting, the deal will create opportunities for European exposure for its best teams, and further help its efforts to develop youth football in the country.
Speaking on the acquisition, Akinlade said, “I am truly honored and excited to embark on this new chapter with Aarhus Fremad and further our shared commitment to engaging and empowering local communities.
“By strengthening the relationship between Sporting Lagos and Aarhus Fremad, we aim to create an environment that fosters education, growth, and opportunity for our players and the community at large. I have the utmost confidence in Lars Kruse’s continued leadership as CEO, and together, we will strive to maintain the values and long-term goals that have made these clubs such a cherished part of their respective communities.”
Commenting on the investment, Lars Kruse, said, “It has been an exciting process, from when I first heard that they had spotted us in Fremad all the way from Nigeria to where we are standing now.
“It is fantastic that there are people with the right mindset who see football as a catalyst for many other things – and in terms of values, Sporting Lagos is a Nigerian Aarhus Fremad. In practical terms, the agreement means that we can have a much larger perspective in Fremad, as well as an international dimension to work with.”
Arhus Fremad is currently top of the 2nd division and might be promoted to the country’s second-best league.
Despite this, the club has been running a deficit with CEO and former primary equity owner Lars Kruse covering it.
In its latest financial report, the club has made a loss of two million kroner over the past two years.
“I’ve been completely honest that I needed some help. I didn’t want to throw it all under the bus, and I’ve always thought that someone must come along when we’ve been as good as we’ve been,” Lars Kruse told Danish newspaper, Århus Stiftstidende.