With the news that York City has been taken over by the Uggla family, fans could be forgiven for thinking the club has just joined the big league.
Because the family are seriously wealthy and very well connected – even to the extent that one of them starred on posh ‘structured reality’ show Made In Chelsea.
The patriarch of the family is Lance Uggla. According to the FT, the Canadian-born businessman had accrued a £650m fortune by 2020, largely thanks to IHS Markit, the financial data company he founded and then sold for billions.
He now runs Beyond Net Zero, a climate and sustainability fund.
Lance’s former wife and his son, Julie-Anne and Matt, are the two named directors of 394 Sports Ltd, the company that has acquired the 51% stake in York City FC previously owned by controversial outgoing chairman Glen Henderson.
They are set to co-chair the club. 394 Sports is based in Baker Street in London, most famous for its fictional resident – Sherlock Holmes.
Julie-Anne is a serial entrepreneur. Born in Zimbabwe before moving to Canada as a child, she grew up in a small apartment with a single mum. “I learnt early on the importance of having to work hard for what you want,” she says.
She founded city guide technology business Cities Talking, and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes.
“I have been actively involved in the non-profit industry for over 20 years, and set up my first non-profit fundraiser in the Ukraine in 1992 which funded 16 different orphanages,” she said.
With a home in Alderney in the Channel Islands, last year she called on local leaders to “open up our islands” to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.
Matt has a background in property development and investment. He studied at St Columbus School in St Albans and at the University of Southampton where he read Sports Management.
Julie-Ann and Matt were very close to taking over another struggling football club with a long history, Yeovil Town, even taking over the ‘stewardship’ of Town before a takeover deal fell through in May.
Lance and his four children are all involved in the Uggla Family Foundation, a charitable fund aiming to benefit future generations.
And that Made In Chelsea connection? Matt’s sister Riley, founder of fashion brand Riley Studio, was on the show from 2014 onwards.
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