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Atlanta United now have a seat on Aberdeen’s board. Why?

It has traditionally been European clubs that invest in North American soccer. But a recent deal has reversed the trend

One wonders what Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes thought when he walked into Atlanta United’s 71,000 capacity Mercedes Benz Stadium, with its retractable roof and 62,000 square feet wraparound video screen. Aberdeen’s home, Pittodrie, with its non-regulation sized pitch, crumbling stands and gale-force winds swirling in from the North Sea, is a rather different venue. Now, however, Aberdeen and Atlanta United have plenty in common, being sister clubs and all.

Last week saw a “strategic partnership” announced between the Scottish Premiership and Major League Soccer clubs, with Atlanta United’s parent company, AMB Sports & Entertainment, also taking a minority ownership stake in Aberdeen, investing £2m in the Pittodrie club. Darren Eales, the Atlanta United president, now sits on the Dons’ board and, alongside new Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, presented the two clubs under one umbrella.

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