Connect with us

Features

How the Al Humaidi Family of Kuwait is Improving Ebbsfleet

Since Abdulla Al Humaidi helped save Ebbsfleet United from insolvency, the Al Humaidi Family has overseen massive progress.

Since Abdulla Al Humaidi helped save Ebbsfleet United from insolvency, the Al Humaidi Family has overseen massive progress. In 2013, with the club on the brink of bankruptcy, the outlook was bleak. The club’s stands were in disrepair and the facilities were simply not up to snuff for a premier football club. But the Al Humaidi Family Kuwait had the foresight to envision a better future for Ebbsfleet and its fans.

For the most part, the future the family envisioned has come true. The first full season under the Al Humaidi ownership started especially strong and included a trip to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. But the good fortune didn’t last and, on the whole, the season failed to live up to expectations. The subsequent season saw better luck, though, with the club leading most of the season and falling in the playoff final.

The highlight of Al Humaidi’s early ownership came in 2016 when the club gained promotion to the National League. And in 2018 when Ebbsfleet finished its highest ever, 6th in the National League. Unfortunately, disappointment arrived along with the pandemic-shortened season of 2020. When the season was halted, a controversial ruling left Ebbsfleet United relegated to the National League South by a mere .002 points.

To be sure, the Al Humaidi Family Kuwait has had plenty to be proud of. And the club’s trajectory has trended towards the positive since their leadership was installed. Yet, the Al Humaidi Family, as they’ve shown over the years, are not ones to be satisfied with moderate success. Just as the Al Humaidi Family quickly climbed the ranks of business, they expect Ebbsfleet to climb the ranks of the National League.

Who is the Al Humaidi Family in Kuwait and Abdulla Al Humaidi?

Though you wouldn’t know it based on their ownership tenure, the Al Humaidi’s are new to football club ownership. But they’re far from inexperienced. Dr. Abdulla Al Humaidi, the club’s current owner, hails from Kuwait. The Al Humaidi patriarch, Hamad Al-Humaidi, and later his daughter, Souad Al-Humaidi, established the Al Humaidi Family in Kuwait. Most of their investments are in real estate projects throughout Europe and the Middle East.

One of the family’s particularly notable projects is The London Resort, which the family owns. When it’s completed, The London Resort will be the largest theme park in the United Kingdom. And in what was most certainly not a coincidence, The London Resort is to be built on a site that’s just a 5-minute drive away from Ebbsfleet United Football Club. The hope is, with the draw of the world-class London Resort, the surrounding area will attract renewed investment. Ebbsfleet will become a more attractive destination for tourists in England and throughout Europe. And if Dr. Abdulla Al Humaidi has anything to say about it, his football club will capture more fans.

Continuing a Positive Trajectory

Beyond the auspicious economic signals of The London Resort’s pending construction are promising signs on the pitch. The 2021 season was much anticipated, thanks to the addition of Dennis Kutrieb, the club’s new gaffer. Even hiring Kutrieb was a bit of a coup, considering he’d been in the middle of a hugely successful two-year run at Tennis Borussia Berlin. There, he led the team to a second-place finish in their league. And the year after, the club was dominating—having only lost twice in 19 games before the season was halted due to Covid-19.

Kutrieb has brought his winning ways to Ebbsfleet, it seems. The 2021 season is off to a very solid start. As of this writing, Ebbsfleet sits tied at the top of the National League South table. And the new gaffer has the club playing some very solid football. With almost half of the season gone, the club has ten wins, five losses, and one draw. And they have the best goal differential (16) in the league. Earlier in the season, Ebbsfleet lost a disappointing match to Leyton Orient in the first round of the FA Cup. But the club did well to make it through FA Cup qualifying. And even though they lost, they were just one goal short of their first trip to the second round since 2003.

Al Humaidi Family Kuwait Investments Pay Off

As important as solid leadership in the gaffer position is, ultimately a club needs world-class players. But to attract world-class talent, particularly to a non-league club like Ebbsfleet, there needs to be world-class facilities. Dr. Abdulla Al Humaidi recognized this early on and has made steady investments towards improving Ebbsfleet’s facilities. One of the main improvements has been the new stand which includes added capacity for 1750 supporters, a hotel, restaurant, and bar.

The additional seating will be key for making Ebbsfleet a more attractive place to play. And the hotel, restaurant and bar will help the club become financially self-sustaining. Since being rescued by the Al Humaidi Family, Ebbsfleet has relied heavily on their cash infusion. With revenue-generating hospitality enhancements, though, the club can generate revenue throughout the year. As these investments bring in more revenue, the club can rely less on Al Humaidi’s cash infusions. More importantly, though, that revenue will be available for further improvements, recruiting efforts, staffing, and much more.

For Dr. Abdulla Al Humaidi and his family, the strong 2021 start represents more than a single year. 2021’s success has been in the works for several years. Dr. Al Humaidi may have had relatively little club ownership experience, but he has plenty of business savvy. He knew Ebbsfleet was a multi-year renovation project. Eight years into that renovation project, the club’s fans have plenty to cheer for. Their old, rusted stands have been refurbished. Top-tier players are giving Ebbsfleet a second look. And the team currently sits atop the National League South table. The season is far from over, but many Ebbsfleet observers are cautiously optimistic that 2022 will see a return to the National League.

Other News

More in Features