To the people and the community of Sport Lisboa e Benfica:

In light of the news that we have all learned in recent days, I do wish to share with you certain of my beliefs and I also wish to clarify for your benefit my interests in becoming involved with your beloved Club.

 

  • I am a lover of the game of football, and I believe it has proven to be the greatest unifier of people and cultures that we have ever seen in the world of sport…and it’s global influence is only growing.

 

  • I believe football clubs and communities are inextricably linked and that ownership of football clubs should be in the hands of the public.

 

  • I am specifically interested in football clubs that have the opportunity to provide direct and tangible benefits to the people in their immediately proximus communities and to those within their global reach

 

  • I am attracted to Sport Lisboa e Benfica because it is truly the People’s Club…and it will always be the People’s Club. Unlike any company or club with which I have had the pleasure to be associated, it was formed, is structured, and is run principally for the benefit of its community. If I were ever invited by the people of Benfica to support the mission of SL Benfica, I would not have to create that connection with the community…it has been the way of Benfica since long before my arrival…I would only hope that I could help to strengthen SL Benfica for the benefit of its people.

 

  • I believe SL Benfica is the sleeping giant of world football, the greatest developer of talent in its academies, with an unmatched opportunity to extend its mission and its brand to fast growing global audiences.

 

  • I believe SL Benfica made a wise decision to become a publicly listed and a publicly owned club, a logical extension of its successful form of governance by the people of Benfica, though I do believe the limited scale and liquidity of the Portugal capital markets has not allowed SL Benfica to maximize its potential as a global concern.

 

  • I believe that greater coordination between the Portugal markets and global stock exchanges in the United States and elsewhere would provide SL Benfica with efficient access to large pools of people and capital which would better serve the mission of Benfica.

 

  • I believe that the story and the teachings of SL Benfica, conveyed through international academy expansion and through media, would be welcomed and valued around the globe, bringing new revenue opportunities from far off places that would bring returns back to the people of Benfica in Portugal.

 

  • I believe I may be one of the people that can bring ideas to the Benfica community that can help improve the capitalization and the revenues of the Club, for a purpose that is right for the fans…the goal to keep many more of the best players of SL Benfica playing for SL Benfica. It’s clear that the thrill of playing in the Champions League, for Benfiquistas, has become less of a thrill, and more of an expectation. Shouldn’t it now be the goal to win?

 

To be clear, these are just my beliefs. They are not yet plans. I have not acquired shares in SL Benfica. I have enjoyed my conversations and correspondence with the devoted SL Benfica fan, Mr. Jose Antonio dos Santos. I believe he truly loves the Club and I believe that he sees, in me, a person that has the right heart and the right experience to advance the mission of the Benfica community.

 

I have never sought, negotiated or reached an agreement to purchase SLBEN shares from any party, other than Mr. dos Santos, nor have I purchased any SLBEN shares (directly or indirectly) in the open markets. Mr. dos Santos was introduced to me, not by leadership of SL Benfica, but rather by an investment banking institution based in London with whom I regularly discuss investment opportunities, namely in the sports industry.

 

Like you, I am digesting very quickly the unexpected news that is impacting SL Benfica. Though I was looking forward to meeting the management team of SL Benfica in the coming weeks, I am now evaluating whether or not I intend to consummate a purchase of SLBEN shares. It was my great hope to be received as a positive and contributing partner to the community of Benfica and I am obviously having to evaluate the remarkable change in circumstances as I evaluate this opportunity. Again, like you, I am reserving the right to make my own judgments and my own decisions as I learn more.

 

In the meantime, I wish you all the best of outcomes and personal joy during the coming season, as I feel confident that Sport Lisboa e Benfica will continue to be as strong in the coming year as it has been for the last 117 years.

 

Warmly,

John Textor