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Netflix alum Erik Barmack’s Wild Sheep Sports revises Motherwell FC bid

Wild Sheep Content CEO Erik Barmack and his wife, Snapchat executive Courtney Barmack, have made a revised offer to invest in Scotland’s Motherwell Football Club.

Erik Barmack

Following further discussions with the Scottish Premiership team’s board of directors, the Barmacks have amended their original plans.

Motherwell FC is the first football club in a UK top-flight soccer league to be owned by its fans, through the Well Society.

Operating as Wild Sheep Sports (WSS), the Barmacks have now agreed to amend their investment proposal to ensure that the Well Society remains the majority stakeholder.

WSS now proposes to take a minority but significant 47% stake in the club.

A second agreement stresses that the 50.1% majority shareholding of the Well Society would be achieved by converting half of the debt that was going to be removed after six years into shares in the Well Society.

Therefore, the increase in the Well Society shareholding would not require the fan group to invest any additional sums to the original proposal.

Finally, the new proposal also reduces the buyback amount from £660,000 (US$836,000) to £630,000, making it easier for the Well Society to exercise the call option should its feel WSS is not adding strategic value to the club.

Former Netflix exec Erik Barmack shared news of WSS’s revised offer on social media. He said: “These changes are based on feedback from the community and a desire to clarify that we want the club to remain fan owned.”

In January, Motherwell FC published a tongue-in-cheek social media video aimed at attracting Hollywood investment to the North Lanarkshire team, which plays at Fir Park.

The video sees a young Motherwell fan say: “Taylor Swift gies [give us] some dosh.”

In April, Motherwell FC’s board confirmed it had entered into an investment agreement with a “US-based family.”

After non-binding heads of terms were agreed, Motherwell and the mystery investors began a consultation process.

Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon later confirmed the Barmacks were behind the projected £1.95m investment, to be made over six years.

McMahon said the club’s fans would be invited to vote on the proposals in a ballot in July.

The proposed deal has been likened to that of actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s takeover of Welsh soccer side Wrexham AFC.

That £2m deal back in 2021 saw the club feature in the FX sports documentary series Welcome to Wrexham.

After heavy investment from Reynolds and McElhenney, the club was promoted to League One – two divisions below the Premier League – at the end of the 2023/24 season.

However, in an interview with BBC Scotland, Barmack denied he was looking to replicate the Reynolds/Wrexham business model.

The former Netflix head of global originals said: “Football is a passion of mine and sports documentaries have been a passion of mine in a way that precedes Wrexham.

“I would say being a small part of [Netflix’s] Formula 1: Drive to Survive was a much more motivating factor. You could see if a sport was presented in a dramatic fashion, it would engage a group of totally different fans.”

Any Motherwell docuseries “would depend on the right elements coming together, but that’s not the reason for our interest in Motherwell. Still, there’s something to Scottish football overall that’s thrilling and dramatic,” he added.

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