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USL officials to visit UK clubs in partnership drive

Mon 8th Mar 2010 | Marketing & PR

United Soccer Leagues CEO, Alec Papadakis, and Senior Director for International Development, Francisco Marcos, are in the UK this week to lay the groundwork for international partnership opportunities for USL clubs.

UK Sports Law and Management Firm, Beswicks, have assisted in setting up meetings and games for the USL contingent. While in the UK they will meet with senior figures in the English Premier League, including Keith Harris, Chairman at Seymour Pierce, who was instrumental in Roman Abramovich's purchase of Chelsea and Randy Lerner's takeover at Aston Villa. Meetings are also scheduled with various chairmen at Manchester City, Burnley, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday.

They will also enjoy the Chelsea v Stoke City FA Cup tie on Sunday, March 7, as well as the following games: Burnley v Stoke City, West Brom vs Sheffield Wednesday, and Stoke City v Aston Villa.

The main purpose of the visit is to establish relationships with English clubs which will offer the opportunity for young USL talent to move their game to the next level. As well as raising the profile of the league, it is hoped that developing joint partnerships with premier league clubs will lead to preseason tours in both the UK and North America, as well as other commercial opportunities.

"This trip will position the USL as a matchmaker,” Marcos said. “We're here for our teams because forming strategic partnerships with European professional clubs is something we recognize is vital to our growth in the future, at the league and club level.

"The involvement of an organization such as Beswicks, is vital in accomplishing our goals on this trip, as they are highly respected by clubs in the English Premier League"

"The interest levels in USL and its various leagues have never been higher throughout Europe,” said Gary Mellor, partner at Beswicks. “European clubs recognize that USL provides them with unequalled access to North American young talent as well as the opportunity to forge strategic partnerships and the commercial opportunities that follow. This visit by Alec and Francisco has generated a great response from Premier League clubs."

An in-depth interview with F.C. Business Magazine is also scheduled and offers the opportunity to communicate what USL hopes to achieve to a wider UK audience.

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