Tony Jimenez

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Tony Jimenez (born December 1962 in Brixton, London, England) is a respected international businessman well known for his involvement in European football and renowned for his ability to identify business opportunities that produce significant returns in relatively short periods.

Tony is of Spanish nationality and has been a long time resident of Cyprus although he recently returned to reside in Dubai[1] from where he controls a series of high profile property and other business ventures around the globe including businesses in the sport, film, fashion, music IT and financial market sectors.

In addition to his broader business interests, his extensive list of contacts in international football ranging from owners to managers and players and his knowledge of the game and market has made Jimenez a respected voice within the game. He commands significant influence in international football regularly commenting on burning issues as an invited writer for the renowned Huffington Post with over 12 million daily readers.

Jimenez is known to have an extensive circle of high profile and influential international business friends and acquaintances including presidents, sheikhs and business leaders from around the globe. A venture capitalist and business visionary of great repute, he is considered a trusted advisor and sounding board by many of these people and his advice has reportedly helped many of them shape their global investment policies. Jimenez acts as chief advisor and non-executive Director on the Boards of a number of companies.

His strong relationships within the UAE built up over the past 22 years have seen a number of leading Arab investors making very profitable investments in Europe under guidance from Jimenez. His advice to sovereign wealth funds and institutions is known to have resulted in major early investments in the real estate sector of many emerging markets.

Jimenez is also known for his love of golf, and that has led to his hosting and supporting of charity events around the world, including the Limassol Golf Tournament and the Les Bordes Memorial Event. He also regularly attends such events, and finished eighth in the 2011 Al Naboodah Charity Golf Tournament held on Al Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.[2]

Football - Other[edit]

With over two decades' experience working at the top level of European football, Tony has both expertise and a weighty contacts book within the game. He regularly attends matches and also works closely in advisory roles with football clubs all over the world [3] – although he is not an agent.

A close friend of former Seville boss Juande Ramos, Jimenez hosted a meeting at his home in Seville where Daniel Levy, Paul Kemsley and other Spurs directors and Ramos met to discuss a possible move to Tottenham. Jimenez was instrumental in convincing his friend to accept the deal and brought Ramos over from Spain to become the new boss at Tottenham. The Spanish press at the time also reported how Jimenez had been a close associate of Gino Pozzo, the owner of Udinese Football Club.

In 2004/05 Jimenez was listed as Vice-President of Cypriot club Ethnikos Achna FC, playing in the country's Premier League.[4][5]

Jimenez has very close links to the Cypriot Premier League champions AEK and as well as being a long time and regular supporter, reputedly advises the club’s management.

Newcastle United Football Club[edit]

Jimenez is the former Vice President of Premier League Newcastle United Football Club. He was appointed to the role by the club's owner Mike Ashley in January 2008, and it was reported that he was tasked with selling the club from his base in Dubai.[6]

During Tony's time at the club, a continental-style management structure was introduced, with Dennis Wise appointed as Executive Director (Football) and Jeff Vetere as Technical Co-ordinator, working in support of then-manager Kevin Keegan.[7]

In October 2008, it was announced on the official club website that Jimenez had terminated his association with NUFC in order to “pursue other interests” [8] - with rumours that he had lined up a move across English football. .

Charlton Athletic Football Club[edit]

Later that month, it was reported that Jimenez had brokered the £50m takeover of Charlton Athletic allegedly through his Dubai contacts. On 31 December 2010, the takeover of Charlton Athletic was completed under the ownership of 'CAFC Holdings Limited'.

Operation of the club was conducted by Michael Slater (Chairman and a major shareholder), Peter Varney (Vice-Chair) and Steve Kavanagh (CEO), although Jimenez maintained an arms-length presence from his homes in Dubai, Cyprus and Spain.

Jimenez quickly moved to appoint club legend Chris Powell as manager,[9] a move that was welcomed by fans despite the Addicks legend's lack of managerial experience.

During his time in charge, Charlton Athletic won the League One championship in record-breaking style, reaching 101 points, the highest total anywhere in Europe.[10]

In just over three years at the club, Jimenez also oversaw a revamp of its youth academy.[11] - promoting Steve Avory to the role of Academy Director, and bringing in Paul Hart to work alongside him.

The newly formed U21 side went on to win both their league and a national play-off against Cardiff City during their inaugural season,[12] and the Academy later received Category Two status under the FA's Elite Player Performance Plan guidelines.[13]

In January 2014, Jimenez announced via his regular Huffington Post column [14] that he had agreed to sell the club to Belgian Standard Liege chairman Raymond Duchatelet.

International business[edit]

Jimenez spearheaded early landmark developments in Dubai such as the prestigious and world renowned DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) where as a Director of the Dubai based Hexagon Holdings he led negotiations and developed plans which produced over $100m profit for the investment company and in the longer term resulted in a gross development value of several billions dollars.

He is known to have been responsible for placing early, major scale investment in the prestigious and world renowned Palm and Marina projects in Dubai and is reputed to have been responsible for bringing many high profile international personalities to buy in these projects.

Jimenez has been involved in numerous land deals in Cyprus and reportedly entered into several joint venture projects with a number of large companies based on the island. Between 2004 and 2006 Jimenez brought his Dubai contacts Empire Holdings to Cyprus for business discussions with the Cypriot Lefkaritis family, owners of the public-listed company Petrolina. A joint venture agreement was negotiated providing exploitation rights of the many prime land parcels owned in and around Larnaca by Petrolina.[15] These included several kilometres of prime beachfront and several town centre locations, one of which was to house a new five-star hotel. Other deals included the regeneration of a major town centre, the creation of a new luxury marina and exploitation of the newly discovered gas fields in the seas around Cyprus.

In 2006/07 Jimenez led the international consortium that acquired the Les Bordes golf complex in France[16] which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Jimenez maintains overall control of Les Bordes as President of both the Cypriot holding company and also the French operating company. The complex was previously owned by Baron Marcel Bich, who built it’s magnificent golf course with the objective of it becoming the 'Augusta of Europe'.[17] Although always highly rated by golf aficionados, it was only under the stewardship of Jimenez that the golf course achieved number 1 ranking in Europe, a position it has held for six consecutive years. Jimenez has also obtained 3.8 million square feet of planning consent on the 2,000 acre Les Bordes Estate, making it currently the largest and most prestigious property development project in Europe. In January 2014 work commenced building a landmark resort on the estate that reputedly has a gross development value exceeding 3 billion Euros.

In Dubai Jimenez is known to be leading on the development of a Dubai Fashion Council aimed at elevating Dubai onto the world fashion stage and is involved in industry leading fashion and modelling agencies in Dubai and USA (Los Angeles).

Jimenez is reportedly currently in discussions with senior advisors of a number of the Dubai and Abu Dhabi royal families and considering some major acquisitions in Europe in conjunction with these groups.

Rumours recently emerged suggesting that Jimenez is assisting the Board of Scentrics with contract negotiations. Scentrics are reported to have developed a highly sophisticated data security platform that guarantees absolute data privacy. The platform is said to seamlessly service any type of data transmitting medium (internet, telecoms etc.) and has been described by the press as potentially the most important development since the internet, heralding the birth of a new major corporation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hytner, David (2008-01-30). "The fixer and the facts machine: unveiling Newcastle's odd couple". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  2. ^ "Tony Jimenez". London: huffingtonpost.co.uk/tony-jimenez/. 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  3. ^ Jimenez, Tony (2014-01-30). "A Necessary Evil?". London: huffingtonpost.co.uk/tony-jimenez/. Retrieved 2014-10-08. 
  4. ^ "Jimenez is new powerbroker at Newcastle". Tribalfootball.com. Retrieved 2008-07-25. [dead link]
  5. ^ Caulkin, George (2008-01-29). "Wise men bring a variety of skills to the back room". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  6. ^ Lawton, Matt (2008-09-17). "Dubai says 'no' to Ashley after he drinks cocktail in public". London: Dail Mail. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  7. ^ Hughes, Matt (2008-01-29). "Newcastle make Wise move to aid Keegan". London: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  8. ^ "Tony Jimenez - NUFC Statement". nufc.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  9. ^ "Chris Powell named new Charlton Athletic manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Martin (2012-05-04). "Charlton look to ensure title-winning party goes off with a bang". London: footballfancast.com. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  11. ^ Sport, BBC (2011-06-03). "Ex-Swindon boss Paul Hart joins Charlton academy". London: BBC Sport. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  12. ^ Roberts, Sam (2013-05-11). "LATE PLAY-OFF FINAL HEARTACHE FOR CITY". London: cardiffcity.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  13. ^ Haines, Gary (2012-08-06). "Academy manager eager for new challenges". London: cafc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  14. ^ Jimenez, Tony (2014-01-03). "Why I Sold Charlton - The Inside Track". London: Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  15. ^ "Tony Jimenez Bio". London: Huffington Post. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  16. ^ "Tony Jimenez Bio". London: Huffington Post. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-10-15. 
  17. ^ "Les Bordes - Top 100 Golf Courses Of The World". London: Top100golfcourses.co.uk. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-10-15.