Leicester City star player Jamie Vardy ventured into club ownership as he became the co-owner of the American football club Rochester Rhinos. It is understood that Vardy bought a minority stake in the New York state-based side. The football club has been inactive in football since 2017 and plans to relaunch its journey in 2022 with Jamie Vardy’s backing.
Jamie Vardy despite becoming a co-owner of Rochester United says he has no plans to retire from football. The star striker for Leicester had another stellar season in front of the goal last time around. Furthermore, he reassured that his future lies with Leicester and not anywhere else. After helping the foxes win the FA Cup last season hell be aiming for more glory in the upcoming season.
Vardy has a good taste for underdog stories. Turning fantasies into realities is what Vardy does. A player in non-footballing leagues at the start of last decade he has become a Premier League winner and an FA Cup winner now with one golden boot to his name. His journey from Fleetwood Town to glory with Leicester inspires anyone. He is set to spark another inspiring run in American football with Rochester as the side begins their quest for glory from the third division in the USA football pyramid.
WHAT HAS BEEN SAID
David and Wendy Dworkin the owners of Rochester Rhinos have been in constant touch with Vardy for two years. The owners explained their Rhinos project to Vardy clearly and intrigued the Premier League star. Finally, an agreement was made and Vardy bought a minority stake in the club.
An official statement from the club read “ The Rhinos are delighted to announce that Premier League star Jamie Vardy has become a co-owner of the club.
— Rochester New York FC (@rnyfcofficial) June 15, 2021
“The Leicester City striker has bought a minority stake and is excited by the prospect of being part of a journey that puts the Rhinos and Rochester back on the map after a four-year hiatus,” the club said.
“This is a huge coup for Rochester and the Rhinos. Jamie is known throughout the soccer world and we are delighted that he has chosen to join us as a co-owner.”
“Hopefully this fantastic news will give everyone connected with the club the belief that there are good times ahead.”
Vardy was pretty excited at this opportunity. He added “I’ve been looking at opportunities in the United States for a while, but there was something about Rochester and the Rhinos that just felt right. I love the story of the U.S. Open Cup win. Although the club has been through some difficult years since, in a way that makes this more appealing to me.”
THE RETURN OF THE RHINOS
Formed as Rochester Raging Rhinos in 1996 the club enjoyed tremendous success in its initial years. To date, they are the only non-Major League Soccer team to win the U.S.Open Cup. Having enjoyed success earlier, they failed to adapt properly to the growing demands of the game.
— Rochester New York FC (@rnyfcofficial) June 8, 2021
The three-time second division champions after many changes in ownership finally announced in 2017 that they were going into a hiatus. They weren’t able to sign players actively and raise funds to run the club. The owners felt it was best for everyone to take a break.
— Rochester New York FC (@rnyfcofficial) June 9, 2021
Many plans to relaunch the club were made but none were fruitful. It was announced that the club would register itself in the third division USL League One. An initial return period of 2020 was slated. However, the pandemic and several delays quashed those comeback plans.
Now that Jamie Vardy is on board the club is working with renewed energy to relaunch as soon as possible. Realistically we might see the Rhinos back on the field in 2022. With Vardy’s signature, they can use the resources of V9 academy to poach talents and also use his name to lure bigger names. A search for the head coach is underway.
We might expect Jamie Vardy and his rampant Rochester Rhinos to ram their way into the very top of the USA Footballing pyramid.
NOT THE FIRST ONE
Jamie Vardy is not the first footballer to look into the ownership of clubs. Elite players like Ronaldo Nazario and David Beckham are already running clubs. The only difference is they are retired and Jamie Vardy is still active.
Vardy can surely learn a thing or two from his countrymen Beckham and Premier League legend Didier Drogba. They have understood the football scenario in the country and are helping the sport become popular.