NFL legend JJ Watt & ex-USWNT attacker Kealia Watt announce investment in Burnley
- Watts buys stake in Burnley
- Will work with community & women's team
- Burnley men's side heading back to Premier League
WHAT HAPPENED? Watt, one of the best defensive players in NFL history, retired after this most recent football season, bringing an end to what will be a Hall of Fame career. His wife Kealia, meanwhile, played in the NWSL from 2014-21 while also earning three U.S. women's national team caps in 2016.
Now, the duo has bought into the ownership group at Burnley, with the club saying the two will help grow the team's reputation globally while also doing work with the local community. Additionally, Kealia Watt will work to help grow the club's women's team.
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WHAT THEY SAID?: “When you invest in a club that’s been around since 1882, you must have great respect for its history and tradition,” said JJ Watt. “We understand that not only are we investing in the squad and manager, we’re investing in the town and its people. We take that responsibility very seriously and intend to work hard in earning their trust and support."
“In the U.S., I’ve seen the NWSL grow into something really incredible, and we’d love to be a part of growing the women’s team here and be a part of their journey,” said Kealia Watt.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The couple are far from the first athletes to invest in the sport, with the likes of Russell Wilson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and James Harden owning stakes in MLS clubs, while LeBron James has been involved in the ownership group at Liverpool.
They also aren't the first celebrities to join ownership groups abroad in recent times, with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McEIhenney at Wrexham, while Michael B. Jordan recently invested in Bournemouth.
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WHAT NEXT FOR BURNLEY? Burnley, who are managed by Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany, have already claimed the Championship title this season, confirming a return to the Premier League for the 2023-24 campaign. They'll finish the season off on May 8 with a home match against Cardiff City.