Rochdale AFC closer to survival as takeover talks progress with World Soccer Holdings LLC 

Rochdale AFC have agreed a temporary exclusive partnership with Texas-based World Soccer Holdings LLC (WSH), as they have until the end of the month to save their club. 

The American sports investment company recently expressed their interest on February 29, 2024, after Rochdale’s chairman Simon Gauge stated that the club would face liquidation if they did not find an investor by the end of March. 

Upon WSH’s letter of interest, Gauge said: “Investment in the club is essential for our survival, and WSH tick so many of the boxes that we have been looking for in an investor.” 

This isn’t the company’s first foray into European football, as they have significant shares in second division Dutch side MVV Maastricht, who sit 13th in the Eerste Divisie. 


The CEO of WSH – Scott Dyer – said: “We could not let 100 years of history go to waste, and we believe we can work together to elevate the Dale back to its previous heights and beyond.” 

The prospective investors were present for Rochdale’s 2-2 draw with Oxford City at the Crown Oil Arena on the weekend, getting a taste for football in Greater Manchester.

Rochdale’s 102-year spell in the Football League ended last season, as they were relegated to non-league for the first time in their history. 

The Dale were renowned for being a successful mode of a fan-owned club, but multiple relegations and Covid-19 has resulted in this need for investment. 

WSH staved off competition from The Football Club LLC (TFC) to secure their period of exclusivity, as the “collective professionals” submitted their own letter of interest on March 8, 2024, a day after the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) results at Rochdale AFC. 

The EGM saw all five of the special resolutions pass with at least 81% of the vote, as stakeholders at Rochdale AFC approved the issue of nine million new Class A shares; a necessity in order for investors to save the club. 

Following the announcement of WSH’s exclusivity period with Rochdale AFC, TFC’s managing partner – Justin Corrado – stated that TFC were disappointed that “there wasn’t an open, full and fair process” around the decision. The Dale’s decision has forced Gauge to cancel a meeting today with TFC. 

The group confirmed that they had not received any feedback from their initial letter of interest, nor had they been given the opportunity to “respond to the opposing [WSH] bid.” 

Rochdale AFC said that they couldn’t comment any further on proceedings, due to a non-disclosure agreement with WSH, but “further updates will follow”. 

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