February 29, 2012 Leave a comment
When he first came to England at the age of nine, his family had nothing, now 31 years on, he likes a challenge and wants to climb the highest mountain in South America – Aconcagua in Argentina, but first, he has got to buy a football club.
Mo Chaudry is fighting a battle to take over his adopted club Port Vale. The man for whom it wasn’t enough to be an average man, but about ‘wanting to be a somebody and getting out of the rat race’, has been in an ongoing fight against the current board for four months. He has even got the backing of the majority of fans.
For the man who is worth £60 million, aims and dreams are a huge part of his life and believes they are there to be achieved. His dream for Port Vale is to ‘take them to where they really belong,’ the Championship in five years or maybe higher and leave a legacy.
To make this fantasy come true, he is willing to invest up to £5 million firstly into the club then the team.
He said: “We will look at the commercial side first and also match day revenues. We will look to finish the Robbie Williams suit, which will accommodate 800 people. The most important thing is to get the non football side structured well. Then to the team and get better players, which will hopefully bring the success.”
Although he isn’t a Vale fan through and through, Chaudry still wants the best for the club as he feels the ‘connection’ he found seven years ago, when they were in administration.
He said: “I wouldn’t actually claim to be a Vale fan, but there are a number of reasons why I want to get involved.
“I think I can do a good job, I have the means and the will to do it, and another reason is the community side.
“Most football clubs do football in the community, I think I can take it to the next level and engage the wider community, the different ethnic backgrounds that live within North Staffordshire.
He sees the Asian population in Stoke-on-Trent as a massive area to exploit and believes his links in with them and his ownership of Water World could be the basis of a new fan base to add on top of the disappearing numbers already there.
“We get 200,000 kids coming through the doors at Water World, who are under 12 years of age, who haven’t been tapped into before and we will try and make them become future Vale fans. If I can get a 1.5% conversion rate that’s 3,000 new fans, then the old fans might come back.
“Then there are 15,000 young Asian people, in North Staffordshire, who love football and we will look to convert a good 10% of them.”
The ethnic backgrounds within Stoke are a huge interest to Chaudry who was born in Pakistan in 1960. He is hoping that being in the top 100 UK Asian businessmen, owning one of the top leisure attractions in Staffordshire and hopefully adding a football club to his resume will help him become an iconic symbol for the for young British Asians.
It has been at the forefront of his mind for a while and in February 2010, he applied to join the BNP, to fight the organisation from the inside.
He said: “There is something inside me that’s up for the challenge, always been a bit of a maverick, someone who stretches the boundaries of rules and regulations.
“I was looking to awake the silent majority. It’s about standing up and being counted, too many people just sit on the fence and don’t make it into the arena.
“It was about making the news and exposing them for what they really are and they had a strangle hold in Stoke, going from zero to nine BNP councillors.”
After Chaudry’s efforts there was a local and national election and three BNP councillors stood again but none got re-elected.
This determination has got Chaudry where he is today in his businesses and his charity work. Chaudry came from a family which had very little when they left Pakistan for England and he looks back to this time and when his father went into bankruptcy, as a motivation.
Chaudry said: “I saw the mistakes my father had mad-e because he didn’t have the knowledge and I was determined not to make the same ones.
“Seeing my dad go bankrupt and end up in the factory, I decided I needed to get out of the rat race.
“You need a trigger an extra motivation; this was it and I just wanted to be successful.”
This motivation and mindset has led Chaudry to becoming one of the most successful businessmen in the Midlands. It has also led him to incredible achievements for charity, which vary from cycling through the Jordan desert to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and the three peaks in the UK. Now he is eyeing up Aconcagua as the next challenge.