Trinity Sports Holdings, whose portfolio includes the USL’s Memphis 901 FC, has assumed ownership of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club in England’s National League.
Under the newly-created Victoria Road Football, LLC, Principal Owner Peter B. Freund, President Craig Unger, and soccer legend Tim Howard will pilot the club, which is based in East London, England. The trio is coming off the launch of Memphis 901 FC, the Division II club that will begin play at AutoZone Park in Downtown Memphis in 2019.
Freund and Unger bring years of experience operating professional sports franchises throughout North America, and Howard lends expansive knowledge of English football from his 13 years playing in the English Premier League for Manchester United and Everton and is one of the most famous soccer players in American history.
“September has been a thrilling month, as we unveiled Memphis 901 FC in front of a sellout crowd in Downtown Memphis, continued the Redbirds’ run towards another potential Pacific Coast League championship, and have now completed the acquisition of Dagenham & Redbridge FC,” Freund said. “As Trinity Sports Holdings continues to grow, we are strengthening our commitment to owning and operating professional sports franchises both here and abroad. The opportunity to acquire a storied club like the Daggers and plant a flag in the English Football system is an exciting next step for all of us.”
“Connecting the City of Memphis, through Memphis 901 FC and the Memphis Redbirds, with the City of London in this way is huge for our entire region,” Unger said. “In addition to Memphis Tourism having representatives in the U.K., to have these world-renowned cities now linked through sports, specifically soccer, is a game-changer, and will make the distance ‘across the Pond’ seem significantly shorter.”
In addition to Minor League Baseball’s Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and Memphis 901 FC, Trinity Sports Holdings also has stakes in Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and MiLB’s Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) and the Charleston RiverDogs (Low A; Sally League).
The new structure of the Dagenham & Redbridge board will see Freund as Executive Chairman of the Football Club, while Paul Gwinn J.P. will remain as Chairman. Steve Thompson will stay on as Managing Director, and the remaining Directors will be Unger, Dave Bennett and Mark Odams. Bennett and Thompson retain their minority holdings in the club, as does the Club’s Full Members company, Dagenham & Redbridge FC Ltd.
Dagenham & Redbridge FC, nicknamed the Daggers, was formed in 1992 following a merger of two clubs, Dagenham and Redbridge Forest. The club can trace its ancestry back to 1886, as Redbridge Forest was an amalgamation of the famous clubs Leytonstone FC and Walthamstow Avenue.
While currently competing in the fifth division of the English football system, the National League, the Daggers have competed as high as the third division in the English Football League’s League One and also spent almost a decade in the EFL’s League Two.
Dagenham & Redbridge plays its matches at 6,078-seat Victoria Road, known as Chigwell Construction Stadium for sponsorship purposes, and is currently managed by Peter Taylor. Taylor, a storied English player and former manager of the England National Team, has been engaged in soccer for over 40 years. He made David Beckham captain while with the National Team, and he also had two spells managing England’s under-21 club as well as numerous other clubs.
Image courtesy Trinity Sports Holdings.
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