Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has refused to rule out future collaborations with other clubs after linking up with Atlanta United.
That partnership helped land £5 million in investment and could bring future player-sharing with the ambitious American Major League Soccer (MLS) side.
The Reds will jet out to Dubai tomorrow for a warm-weather training camp and to strengthen relations in the oil and gas-rich United Arab Emirates.
However, Cormack insists Aberdeen are not targeting major investment from the Middle East.
Instead, he reckons all the football cash is in New York.
The Big Apple has attracted world powers like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich – and Cormack wants a slice.
On looking for investment in Dubai, Cormack said: “We have nothing on the agenda or platform related to that.
“What I will say is that clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich all have offices in New York now.
“So there are less people looking to the Middle East or Far East.
“These companies are going to want to come in just like the Manchester City group and own the whole enchilada.”
In November last year the City Football Group, who own Man City, became the world’s most valuable sports group after US technology investor Silver Lake bought a 10% stake.
Silver Lake have made their fortune by investing in technology companies but recently have branched out into entertainment and sport, buying a chunk of the lucrative Ultimate Fighting Championship.
That investment elevated City Football Group’s value to £3.73bn ($4.8bn), taking them ahead of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in terms of worth.
Manchester City are just one club in City Football Group which also includes New York City, Melbourne City, Japanese outfit Yokohama F Marinos, Chinese club Sichuan Jiuniu, Uruguay’s Atletico Torque and La Liga side Girona.
It is a collaborative model that is clearly working.
Aberdeen have also entered into the early stages of their own collaborative model with a strategic partnership with ambitious MLS side Atlanta United.
Cormack said: “What we see is collaboration.
“Manchester City just took in half a billion dollars from Silver lake, who I know as an investment group are at a virtual $5 billion dollar valuation, which is unheard of. But it validates the collaboration concept.
“So as we test what we are doing with Atlanta United and see the benefits on both sides, so we will maybe look to do some other partnerships potentially.
“From a financial perspective, I know the banks that invested in Spurs’ new stadium, and it all came through New York.”
Confirmed as Stewart Milne’s successor as Dons chairman last month, multi-millionaire software entrepreneur Cormack is based in Atlanta.
Atlanta United have enjoyed a rapid rise in a very short time-frame. They only began playing in 2017 but are already rated by the influential business magazine Forbes as the most valuable football (soccer) club in the United States.
The club is estimated to be worth $500m (£390m) and the Mercedes Benz stadium, which it shares with the Atlanta Falcons gridiron franchise, has attracted crowds of around 70,000.
Their new state-of-the-art $60m training facility, opened in 2017, is rated as one of the best in the US.
Aberdeen sent representatives to Atlanta to study their training ground to get valuable tips when building the £13m Cormack Park facility.
They will use Atlanta’s experience in constructing the $1.6bn Mercedes Stadium when raising the capital and then building the stadium at Kingsford.
Atlanta United’s owner Arthur Blank, 77, is the co-founder of the Home Depot retail chain and is estimated to be worth in excess of $5bn.
They have paid mega fees for South American players – Paraguay’s Miguel Almiron ($8m), Argentine Pity Martinez ($14m) and Venezuelan Ezequiel Barco ($15m).
Almiron was sold to Newcastle United last January for $27m, an MLS record fee.
Barco, 20, helped Independiente to the 2017 Copa Sudamericana with his goals.
Another star is Venezuelan striker Martinez, who hit 31 goals in 2018 to win the MLS Golden Boot, breaking the league’s regular season scoring record of 27.
Atlanta United have already provided attacker Jon Gallagher on loan and Cormack expects it to be the start of players moving across the Atlantic between the clubs.
Cormack said: “We have signed the relationship with Atlanta and already seen Jon Gallagher come this way.
“I would be surprised if we don’t see some of our players go their way, maybe related to the Atlanta 2 team, which is in a very competitive league and has (former Aberdeen player) Stephen Glass as coach.
“We will get to that over the next few months.”
Atlanta United have a host of top talent in their squad with many players having been sourced from their strong South American scouting network.
The club hope to utilise Aberdeen’s experience in the European player markets.
Cormack said: “We are doing this for player collaboration so that we can get a better quality player here without paying a fortune.”