Jay-Z is reportedly interested in buying Tottenham Hotspur FC.
According to Football365, British billionaire Joe Lewis – whose family trust owns the football club – was granted bail by a judge in New York after pleading not guilty to charges of giving insider trading tips. The 86-year-old is also facing 16 counts of security fraud and three counts of conspiracy. If convicted of either charge, Lewis could incur prison time and hefty fines, meaning he’d have to give up ownership of the North London club.
An associate of Jay-Z told The Daily Express that if that comes to pass, the rapper may try his hand at purchasing the football team.
“More than a few of the very top clubs there – like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea – are now under US ownership and Jay would jump at the chance of a controlling interest at board level somewhere with the global reach of Spurs,” they said. “It remains to be seen whether Mr Lewis will walk away free. If he doesn’t, Jay has said he wants to be in a position to move quickly if he feels the price is right.”
The estimated market value of Tottenham Hotspur FC has risen to $2.8billion (£2.18billion) this year. His associate added that reportedly “[Jay-Z] believes this is achievable, especially with the backing of fellow investors.”
The case brought against Lewis claims that he allegedly used his access to confidential information to provide stock tips to individuals close to him, including one girlfriend who made $849,000 (£657,000) on one of his tip-offs. As reported by Reuters, last week Lewis pleaded not guilty to orchestrating what prosecutors called a “brazen” insider trading scheme by passing tips about companies in which he invested to friends, private pilots and a former girlfriend.
The 53-year-old Bronx rapper Jay Z has tried to buy a London football club before. In 2010, he wanted to be a major investor in Arsenal after revealing he had become a huge fan of the team and Thierry Henry. It was unsuccessful, however, with Jay-Z saying at the time: “I don’t know a lot about the business of soccer but in future, if the right opportunity presented itself, then who knows?”
In 2013, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation brand launched its sports management company, Roc Nation Sports. On July 10 this year, Roc Nation Sports entered a “strategic partnership” with one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious professional leagues, Italy’s Serie A. They promised to raise the league’s profile in North America through an array of “digital content, marketing activations and events.”
In other news, Jay-Z’s wife Beyoncé delivered five nights at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium last mont – with the ‘Hard Knock Life’ rapper was spotted watching the record-setting singer and their daughter Blue Ivy perform together in the 62,000-capacity venue.
Meanwhile, HOV opened his new exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library – featuring thousands of archival items related to the legendary rapper. The exhibition aims “to provide a behind-the-scenes look at a Hall of Fame songwriter and performer, successful business person, and a consequential philanthropist who has never forgotten the lessons he learned on the road to success.”