Michael Olunga's first offer to buy Swedish club AFC Eskilstuna rejected amid complex negotiations

Michael Olunga's first offer to buy Swedish club AFC Eskilstuna rejected amid complex negotiations

Festus Chuma 21:00 - 09.06.2024

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga's initial bid to acquire Swedish club AFC Eskilstuna has been rejected amid financial discussions.

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga's initial attempt to acquire Swedish third-tier club AFC Eskilstuna has been turned down.

Despite his readiness to inject Ksh 50 million into the financially troubled team through his Michael Olunga Football Academy (MOFA), the club's board has decided against accepting the proposal at this time.

Last month, Olunga, who has a personal connection to Sweden from his early playing days, stepped forward to help AFC Eskilstuna, a club facing severe financial distress.

"We have had constructive discussions with the Michael Olunga Football Academy regarding a potential investment in AFC Eskilstuna, which would benefit both parties. As Mikael Larsson pointed out in Eskilstuna Kuriren, these discussions are particularly valuable now that we are in closer proximity," a statement from the club reads.

However, the club's board expressed reservations about the rapid pace at which the negotiations progressed, emphasizing the need for more thorough examination.

"However, such an investment is complex, and we were given very limited background information to consider the latest proposal. Certain impasses have arisen that have been insurmountable, preventing us from reaching an agreement," the statement continued.

The board also noted their ongoing commitment to due diligence as a barrier to hastily concluding the deal.

"We remain open to continuing our dialogue with the Michael Olunga Football Academy, but we cannot enter into agreements that have not been thoroughly reviewed by our legal team. We owe this diligence to our members," the statement explained.

Despite the setback, the club remains optimistic about future negotiations, inviting MOFA to return to the table when better prepared.

"AFC Eskilstuna continues to seek investors for the club, and we welcome the Michael Olunga Football Academy to return to the negotiating table if they are interested," the club added.

AFC Eskilstuna, which features Kenyan players Henry Meja and Frank Odhiambo, has been in a precarious financial situation for some time.

Recently, the club faced eviction from municipal facilities due to an outstanding debt of approximately SEK 500,000 (around Ksh 6.4 million). Additionally, they have been hit with a repayment demand of SEK 3.3 million (about Ksh 41 million) from Sweden's Agency for Growth.

This amount corresponds to the short-term support funds the club received during the COVID-19 pandemic, which it is now obligated to repay.

The potential acquisition by Olunga, facilitated by the club's former sporting director Mikael Larsson—who is expected to return once Olunga’s takeover is complete—marks a significant chapter in the club's turbulent history.

Originally known as FC Café Opera and later Väsby United, the club underwent several transformations before relocating to Eskilstuna in 2012, rebranding as AFC United, and finally adopting the name AFC Eskilstuna in 2016.

Located approximately 110 kilometers west of Stockholm, AFC Eskilstuna competes in Ettan, the third-highest division in Swedish football.

The club plays its home games at Tunavallen and continues to look for ways to stabilize its financial standing and preserve its rich history of transformation.

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