On Tuesday, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) announced the award of a full A-Leagues licence to Bill Foley. Foley has penned this letter to the Auckland and Northland football communities.
To the football community of Auckland and Northland,
It is with a deep sense of gratitude and excitement that I share with you the news that the A-Leagues has accepted my bid for an expansion club in Tāmaki Makaurau. I am thrilled to bring elite professional football to New Zealand’s largest city and cannot wait for our teams to take the pitch. A new era of football is coming and we are thrilled to get started.
I know the pride and sense of community residents of Auckland and the surrounding area already feel. My family and I love New Zealand – from the natural beauty of the land to the kindness and warmth of its people. We have been frequent visitors to the country for the better part of 15 years and cherish each and every trip.
Since first investing in New Zealand in 2008, I have had many opportunities to bring Kiwis together. Colleagues have shared laughs over a bottle of our wines. Families have celebrated reunions with a meal at Jervois and friends have gathered at Soul Bar & Bistro. But one thing I have learned in the last decade as a pro sports owner: there is nothing that can unify a community quite like a sports team.
We have seen it in Las Vegas, which has embraced our Golden Knights and watched them rise from expansion team to Stanley Cup champion in just six years.
In England, the passion for football brings the city of Bournemouth together in
support of the Premier League team we purchased in 2022.
I am sure that the Auckland and Northland football community will enthusiastically support this new club. I, in turn, promise to deliver an organization they can be proud of – one that is committed to building a winner on the pitch and giving back to its supporters in the community.
To do that, we will provide the support and investment needed to make our club – yours and mine – the best it can be on and off the pitch. That means providing players with elite facilities, prioritizing player development and recruitment, and enhancing the supporter experience at our matches. We are committed to doing all of that with an eye toward sustained, long-term success.
We will make investments in growing the women’s game as well. We have plans to launch a women’s team for the 2025-26 A-Leagues season and are committed to devoting the necessary resources to making our women’s team a success.
We will draw upon the resources of our multi-club model, providing this new club with talent on the pitch and insight in every area of the business. It is also important that we support football in the community and clubs in the Northern Region Football Federation at all levels. We want young Auckland and Northland football fans, from all backgrounds, to cheer for the team and to aspire to one day wear our jersey.
I think you will find that our philosophy and vision fits well with what you want from the club: sustainable success, and an unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in our community. We know better than to expect instant results, but we will make steady progress toward our goals.
We are truly at the beginning of the beginning of our journey. There is so much to look forward to – our official team name and logo, crest, kit, player signings.
It will happen very quickly as we get all the pieces in place for the first match
next October. We can’t wait.