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Jamie Vardy becomes co-owner of American football club.

Jamie Vardy becomes co-owner of American football club.

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has acquired a minority stake in the upstate New York club Rochester Rhinos, who have not played in four years.

The former England international acquired a stake which he defined as a “meaningful enough share to have a seat at the table.”

Rochester Rhinos were established in 1996 and attained the 1999 US Open Cup, becoming the only non-MLS team to win the competition. In 2017 the club stated that it would be taking a break as they came into financial crisis.

Vardy is under a deal at Leicester City until the summer of 2023, with the Rhinos hoping to field a team in the USL League One in 2022.

Speaking on the investment, Vardy said, “I’m really excited to be part of the Rhinos. “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 US Open Cup win, and although the club has been through some difficult years since, in a way that makes this more appealing to me.


“Once I started speaking to David and Wendy (Dworkin) – and we’ve had so many conversations via video calls – I could see how enthusiastic they are about the Rhinos, and I knew that I wanted to get involved and try to play a part in helping to turn things around.

“It won’t be easy, but I never do anything the easy way in life!”

Vardy bought the stake from David and Wendy Dworkin, who also part own the NBA franchise, the Sacramento Kings.

Speaking to The Athletic, David Dworkin maintains Vardy will fit right in in the working-class environment of Rochester.

“Jamie’s story and our story, and our city, they mix together so well. Jamie wouldn’t do well at the Beverly Hills Rhinos. That’s not him.

“Our first meeting, he was drinking Corona beer. I said, ‘Why Corona?’ He said, ‘It was on sale’. Here’s a guy making £10 million, and he’s drinking a $3 beer because it’s on sale! That’s what we like about Jamie. There are no airs about him. What you see is what you get.”

Lee Tucker, who ran Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy that gave non-league footballers a second opportunity to make it professional, has been named as the Rhinos’ Sporting Director.

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Jamie Vardy becomes co-owner of American football club.

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