Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin has become the second largest shareholder in Forest Green Rovers, a club which he believes in.
The League Two side are known for their allegiance to living to their middle name, with solar panels pitched above their stadium to generate power, and vegan food provided for fans and players alike inside the stadiums, so much so that the United Nations accredited the club as ‘Carbon Neutral’ back in 2018.
Bellerin revealed how he first became accustomed with the club following a friendly match back in 2014.
“I actually played a friendly against them when I was really young so the name always stuck with me over the years as we both progressed,” Bellerin told football.london. “Then when I started to see all the good stuff, like becoming the greenest club in the world, it made me want to reach out and look to build a relationship with the guys.
“I don’t think it’s just about the football club, it’s investing in something that is right. Something that shares a lot of similar beliefs to you and something you can believe in.”
Bellerin’s investment sits below any threshold that would see it deemed a conflict of interest for the FA and the Spaniard insists the process was not that difficult, “as soon as I said I wanted to be involved and it was something I wanted to be part of, the guys at Forest Green were really positive so it moved forward very quickly.”
“It feels good to be part of the club.”
The 25 year-old is not the first footballer to invest in football clubs during his playing career, with the likes of Demba Ba and Eden Hazard both having a part in US side Diego 1904, but I do wonder if his ownership could come under question if Forest Green were to climb higher up the ladder to the Championship, or even the Premier League, whilst he remains with Arsenal.
His future is currently under question however, with talk of interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Bayer Leverkusen.
Would there be a conflict of interest if Forest Green climbed up to the Premier League?