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Garlick, second left, at the town's museum on Monday. Antonio J. Guerrero
Mike Garlick, the new owner of Antequera CF

Mike Garlick, the new owner of Antequera CF

The British businessman, who led Burnley to two promotions and Europa League qualification during his tenure, hopes to take the Malaga club "to the highest level possible"

Antonio J. Guerrero

Tuesday, 20 February 2024, 15:51

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A new era has begun at Antequera CF. Following its transition to a Sociedad Anónima Deportiva (SAD), the club has been acquired by British entrepreneur Mike Garlick, the former chairman and majority shareholder of English Premier League Burnley FC, who he led to two top-flight promotions and a Europa League berth in 2018.

The club unveiled its new sporting project at the town's museum on Monday. It organisational structure will remain largely unchanged, with Garlick joining as the new owner and majority shareholder effective immediately. He will be supported by his trusted associate Álvaro Pérez, who assumes the role of general manager.

Expressing his thoughts on this pivotal moment for the club, current president Ángel González said: "We're talking about someone who took over his hometown team, sustainably elevated them to the Premier League, and secured a place in the Europa League. I believe we've made the right decision in having Mike as the majority owner of Antequera. A new era begins."

The town's mayor, Manuel Barón, also extended a warm welcome to the new owner, saying: "You've come to the best town in the world and the best team in the world. This is our team, and now it's yours too. I only ask that we take it step by step; there's no rush."

Garlick echoed this sentiment, saying: "I'm here to facilitate the club's evolution, not to spark a revolution."

Sustainable growth

The 60-year-old emphasised the importance of sustainable growth, stressing that progress should be gradual. "I hope to continue the project initiated by Ángel and take it to the highest level possible in the future."

Regarding the club's immediate sporting future and potential signings, Garlick reiterated his stance on taking things one step at a time: "We'll take it season by season, aiming to do better each time. We won't be focusing on getting promotion after promotion."

As for infrastructure developments like the stadium and training facilities, Garlick acknowledged they're on the agenda to be addressed gradually. Additionally, he expressed interest in developing the club's youth academy and potentially introducing a women's team.

When asked if he was optimistic about replicating Burnley's success in Antequera, Garlick confidently replied: "Why not?"

Having previously been linked with Balompédica Linense, Garlick has been interested in getting involved in Spanish football for a long time, particularly in the south, near his residence in Marbella. "In Antequera, I felt I could achieve something akin to Burnley because it's a community that lives and breathes football."

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