Ghana’s famous Right To Dream academy and Egyptian billionaire Mohammed Mansour have reached an agreement that will help the iconic football institution expand and recruit more young players to hone their talents for the country.
Man Capital LLP (“Man Capital”), owned by the famous Egyptian family, has formed the new footballing partnership with the Ghanaian outfit to also increase the coaching opportunities to retired former Ghana players to become world-class coaches.
The investment in Right To Dream by Man Capital, the UK-based investment arm of the Egyptian Mansour Group, a family-owned global conglomerate, is being made through Man Sports, a new entity established for the partnership, and will see investment designated to expand the activities of the Right To Dream academy in Ghana.
As the birthplace of the Right To Dream academy, the partnership will invest in ensuring its tradition of innovation and supporting children’s dreams across the country through football continues.
The academy in Ghana will also continue to develop some of the best youth players in the country and focus on discovering many talents and developing high-performance athletes with a focus on education.
In addition, the investment will enable the Ghanaian brand to be exported abroad, seeing the ‘Kanea’ star shining brightly in Egypt through the launch of a new Right To Dream academy for boys and girls in West Cairo, replicating the successful academies in Ghana and Denmark.
The investment will also support the creation of a new pro women’s team to be formed in Egypt shortly after the academy launches, expansion of the women’s and girl’s programmes across the organisation, also including the establishment of a professional women’s team in Ghana in the next 5 years, and the exploration of UK opportunities at club and academy level.
Under the terms of the partnership, Man Sports will assume majority control of Right to Dream with Tom Vernon remaining the other significant shareholder. Mr Mohamed Mansour, the Founder and Chairman of Man Capital, becomes Chairman of the Board of Right To Dream, while his son, Mr Loutfy Mansour, the CEO of Man Capital, becomes a Board member.
Speaking about the investment, Mr Mohamed Mansour, Chairman and Founder of Man Capital, said: “I could not be prouder to be investing in and partnering with Tom and his team at Right To Dream, who are inspirational for the life-changing work they undertake with talented boys and girls across Africa, Europe and the Americas.
We have long taken a close interest in the work they are doing and are delighted to be announcing our partnership today. Not only are we a family of football fans, indeed my uncle Mostafa Kamel Mansour even represented Egypt in the 1934 World Cup, but we are committed to supporting communities across Africa, through our foundations and other philanthropic activities.”
The partnership enables Right To Dream to hire new senior leaders across the organisation, with several appointments already being made for the new venture, namely Mohammed Wasfy as MD of the new Right To Dream academy to be launched in Egypt, Pippa Grange taking on a permanent role as Group Chief Culture Officer, and Jan Laursen being promoted into the role of Chairman of FC Nordsjælland.
Most significantly Mr Eddie Mensah returns home from the USA where he was headmaster of the prestigious Charlotte Preparatory School to become MD of Right to Dream. He joins many prominent Ghanaians working for Right to Dream including former Black Stars Derek Boateng, Laryea Kingston, Didi Dramani, Michael Essien and King Osei Gyan.
Tom Vernon, who continues in his role as CEO of Right to Dream Group, said: “For 20 years Right to Dream has been using football as a platform for social change, bringing life-changing opportunities through sport and education for children and their communities.
This partnership helps Right to Dream move into the next stage of its global expansion, putting people and purpose at the center of football. With the support of the Mansour family, we are creating a new standard of purpose-driven sports for clubs and players and building the leaders of tomorrow.
“Ghana is where our academy journey started and where my heart lies, so to be able to invest in expanding our presence and impact in the country is a huge honour.
The Right To Dream academy has helped to develop some of the best youth players in Ghana and is proof that there is a different way to develop elite athletes with strong education paths through purpose-driven football. Our expansion into Egypt and Europe is further evidence that Ghana can export its football values and culture, not just its players.”
Right To Dream academies are not simply a pipeline for talent, they are platforms of opportunity for the boys and girls who come into contact with them, on and off the field. Established in Ghana before expanding into Europe and North America, Right To Dream academies aim to merge people and purpose through the lens of football.
The academies have links to world-class universities and educational establishments and provide a personal development environment for young people who lack access to schooling and sport.
Having already graduated over 140 students, with 82 students currently at the academy, Right To Dream has a vision to create a global chain of academies that fundamentally change the role clubs play in football today.
Pippa Grange, Right To Dream’s new Global Chief Culture Officer says, “Skills on the field are just as important as education, character development and aspiration off it. Right To Dream develops every aspect of a child’s life, giving them the best possible support and preparation to make their way in the world.”
“This partnership will provide a strong launching pad for the next phase of Right To Dream’s evolution. We are excited about the tremendous potential for a bigger impact”, said Eddie Mensah, the new MD of RTD Ghana.
Right To Dream is working towards a different future for global football.
“We believe there can be a greater purpose-driven model in football where clubs take an active role in social change, rather than leaning on individual athlete-driven social consciousness. Our academies do exactly that and once Egypt is firmly established, we’ll set our sights on the UK.
With our partners and our strong experienced team, we are hungry to do more for the growing elite sporting talent and educational achievements of children coming through our academies, to help them achieve their dreams,” concluded Vernon.