Four things to know about Foster Gillett, the American about to take over OL

He made his fortune in sport and the media

Foster Gillett’s fortune is estimated at around $700 million. It mainly comes from that of his father, who himself built it on a sporting and media empire. In the 1960s and 1970s, George Gillett invested in American football and basketball, notably taking over the Harlem Globetrotters team in 1968.

In 1979, he created “Gillett Communications”, a group of three television channels which he expanded with the acquisition of five others and 22 newspapers. This company will be sold, due to lack of solvency. It was in 1985 that George Gillett invested in ski resorts, a sector in which his son is still evolving today. Foster Gillett is the manager of Booth Creek Management Corporation, a ski resort manager founded by his father in 1996 and based in Colorado.

He was a manager at Liverpool

Arguably Gillett’s most famous feat, but not for the right reasons. In 2007, Gillett senior and junior bought the Liverpool club with another American businessman, Tom Hicks. Foster Gillett is the young director. To their credit: the purchase of Fernando Torres from Atlético de Madrid for 36 million euros. The Spanish striker will score 36 goals in all competitions in his first season with the Reds.

Fernando Torres has scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for Liverpool.  (Luttiau/The Team)

Fernando Torres has scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for Liverpool. (Luttiau/The Team)

Against them: large sums invested on the basis of loans for failed transfers. And supporters who push to see the tandem of owners leave the club. It was done in 2010. Until 2016, George Gillett was forced to pay 1.5 million pounds a year to Mill Financial, an investment fund that had lent him 50 million pounds.

He tried to buy Derby County in 2019

After the bad experience of Liverpool, Foster Gillett attempted a return to the world of football in 2019 by talking to the leaders of the Derby County club, then in the Championship. Looking for a buyer, the then owner, Mel Morris, had received an offer of around 70 million euros (60 million pounds) from the American. The talks did not succeed, to the delight of Reds fans who had challenged those of Derby on the networks, reminding them of the chaotic passage of the father of Foster Gillett in Liverpool. Alerts that they repeat today for the attention of OL fans.

He revived former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen

After spending time in a stock car until 2010 in the NASCAR Championship, Foster Gillett returned the following year to this very popular motor sport in the United States and took the opportunity to relaunch… Kimi Raikkonen! The 2007 F1 world champion with Ferrari drove the cars of the ICE1 Racing team, partly managed by Foster Gillett.

A situation that surprised Ray Evernham, with whom Gillett was associated in NASCAR in the GEM team. On the site, he confided in 2011: “I really don’t understand why Kimi would want to associate with people who continually fail with their sports franchises”. A surprising message. Evernham was at the time on trial with the American. He asked him for 19 million dollars not collected during the sale of the shares of their team in 2010…

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