Carrick Rangers announces majority takeover by American business executive Michael Smith

Credit: Carrick Rangers FC
Estée Lauder executive Michael Smith has acquired a majority shareholding in Carrick Rangers FC Credit: Carrick Rangers FC

Carrick Rangers FC have announced that an American business executive has acquired a majority shareholding in the club.

Estée Lauder companies Chief Information Officer Michael Smith has taken over the Co Antrim club, saying it fulfills his "dream" to do so.

He will attend his first in-person Carrick game on Saturday afternoon, travelling to Windsor Park to watch the amber army take on Linfield.

Mr Smith has worked in a variety of fields for decades, including spending 22 years at Nike.

Alongside his day job at Estée Lauder, he also founded the philanthropic iniatitives Tech Day of Pink and TechPACT.

Tech Day of Pink raises money for breast cancer research, and TechPACT aims to increase diversity in the technology industry.

Mr Smith says he has been a lifelong football fan, and supported his hometown club Portland Timbers, as well as playing for his university team at the Christian Brothers University in Memphis.

The club's current Board of Directors, including chairman Peter Clarke, will stay in their current jobs.

In a statement, Mr Smith said he is "thrilled" to join the club, and be part of its "continued ascension."

He added, “The Club belongs to the supporters and the community. Peter and I are merely stewards of the Club.

"The commitment to the community is a big part of what attracted me to Carrick Rangers. It is such a symbiotic relationship between Club and community.

"I want the Club to be one of the greatest assets of Carrickfergus and the County but we can only do that with the support of the community.

We need more fans in the stands, we need more volunteers in all aspects of the Club but particularly our community engagement, more youth in the academy, and certainly the continued tremendous support of the local council. This is how we create a virtuous circle.

"I have been an underdog my entire life and often been counted out. I relish the underdog role because it motivates me and I believe it makes achievement even more joyful. So many people have counted Carrick out but, make no mistake, it is a Club on the ascent.

"Peter and the Board have been building a strong foundation on and off the pitch and Stuart has shown he can get the most out of a team on the pitch.

“The welcome here is truly humbling and it validates the decision my family and I have made to invest our lives into the Club, Carrickfergus, and Northern Ireland.

"I am looking forward to partnering with Peter, Stuart and the Board on this journey to build a Club that is the pride of the community.”

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