Tom Crotty joins Dons as a Director
Aberdeen Football Club has appointed Tom Crotty to the Board of Directors.
The American businessman, who is investing £1.3million into the club, will join the Board this month.
AFC chairman, Stewart Milne, said: “This decision reflects the fact that Tom is now a major investor in the club and in phase one of the Kingsford plans –the community sports hub, football academy and training facilities at Kingsford.
“He has a wealth of business experience and contacts which will help us attract and secure further investment from both the UK and overseas.”
Mr Milne also attributes his success in establishing the highly successful charity, Grassroot Soccer, as a determining factor in the Board’s decision.
“Tom helped Grassroot Soccer get off the ground with Bobby Clark’s son Tommy. This charitable organisation is focused on adolescent health, using the attraction of football to teach children life skills. Tom played a pivotal role in selecting AFC to be its first UK partner and through this partnership, the AFC Community Trust will be rolling out a football-inspired education programme for young people around mental health. We’re working on further initiatives with Grassroot Soccer to tackle other social challenges by educating and inspiring young people to live healthier and more productive lives.
“Tom has a great interest in football but also in other sports and we are thrilled that he has agreed to join the board and bring an overseas perspective to our long-term vision for AFC.”
With over 30 years in the venture capital industry, where he focused on the communications and software sectors, Mr Crotty has led investments in dozens of early stage companies. During 27 years at Battery Ventures, he headed the firm as managing general partner for twelve years and remains as a senior advisor to the company. He currently sits on the boards of numerous private and not-for-profit organisations. As a trustee of The University of Notre Dame, Mr Crotty was the lead donor behind the construction of the school’s state-of-the-art mens and womens soccer stadium and sits on the University’s Capital Campaign Cabinet which has raised several billion dollars over the last six years.
Mr Crotty is excited about further strengthening his association with AFC and helping to deliver the club’s long-held ambition for a new stadium and training facilities. He said: “This appointment is an honour and a challenge. I first set foot in Pittodrie during the summer of 2003 when Bobby brought the Notre Dame men’s soccer team to Scotland for training and exhibition matches. All these years later I’m thrilled about playing an influential role in realising the bold vision of a club with such a rich heritage but a refreshing head on approach to meeting the challenges of the modern football era. This scale of ambition is highly appealing and, having got to know the directors and management over the last 18 months, I have every confidence in their determination and ability to achieve it.
“In my experience, and particularly through my work with Grassroot Soccer, football has a hugely positive impact across whole communities. AFC has to be congratulated on its intent to deliver sports facilities for the wider community, not just for its own players, and for the exceptional work of AFC Community Trust. I’m looking forward to playing my part in a club with whom I have forged strong links.”
Those links came about through Mr Crotty’s friendship with Bobby Clark. In his youth, he was captain of the Notre Dame Men’s college soccer team, in which he has remained closely involved, and where he met the Aberdeen legend and Notre Dame men’s team head coach. In addition, Mr Crotty and club vice-chairman, Dave Cormack, have known each other through Battery Ventures’ successful investment in software company Brightree, LLC where Mr Cormack was the founder and CEO.