JUNE 6, 2024 – Black Knight Football Club (“BKFC”, “Black Knight” or the “Partnership”), a partnership led by William P. Foley, II (“Foley”) with significant ownership by Cannae Holdings, Inc. (“Cannae”), has named Tim Bezbatchenko as BKFC’s first President. Bezbatchenko has enjoyed tremendous success in leadership roles in Major League Soccer, including the last six seasons as President and General Manager of the Columbus Crew.  Beginning in July, Bezbatchenko will work with BKFC’s portfolio of clubs to improve and better coordinate player development and recruiting, enhance player pathways and optimize commercial opportunities across the group to deliver on-field success and strong financial performance.

BKFC and Foley’s soccer assets include AFC Bournemouth (England), Auckland FC (New Zealand), FC Lorient (France) and Hibernian FC (Scotland). 

“We are excited to add a leader of Tim’s caliber as we continue to build BKFC’s multi-club model,” said Foley. “His track record of success includes a commitment to developing players and providing first-class facilities and fan experiences, all of which are bedrocks of our approach throughout our network of world-class football clubs.”

“I am thrilled to join Black Knight Football Club and its portfolio of clubs that compete in many of the top domestic competitions in the world,” said Bezbatchenko. “I would like to thank Bill Foley, Ryan Caswell and Cannae Holdings for providing this opportunity. Modern football requires taking a globally integrated approach, with cross-border player transactions integral to creating sustainable success. I look forward to working with the leadership across BKFC’s clubs to facilitate player development and player movement to optimize collective team performance on the pitch as well as with our commercial teams to deliver a world class experience for our supporters and partners.”

Bezbatchenko has led the Crew to two MLS Cups in the past four seasons (2020 and 2023), plus the 2021 Campeones Cup and runner-up in the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup. The Crew 2 team won the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Cup (2022) and back-to-back Eastern Conference championships, while Crew Academy was named the 2023 MLS Mark Abbott Club Awards Academy of the Year. Under Bezbatchenko’s leadership Columbus built and opened its new stadium, Lower.com Field, and training facility, OhioHealth Performance Center.

Bezbatchenko joined Columbus in 2019 after serving as Toronto FC’s Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations & General Manager from 2013-18. During his tenure the club won the 2017 MLS Cup, 2017 Supporter’s Shield, three consecutive Canadian Championships (2016-18) – the first domestic treble in MLS – and was runner-up in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. Prior to Toronto FC, Bezbatchenko was Senior Director of Player Relations and Competition for Major League Soccer from 2010-13. Before his move to the MLS, Bezbatchenko served as an attorney for Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York in their mergers and acquisitions group.

Bezbatchenko earned an undergraduate degree in Economics and Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond (2004) and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law (2008). He was a two-time NCAA Academic All-America, an All-America for the South Atlantic Region, a First-Team All-Conference midfielder and a two-year captain at Richmond and went on to play professionally with the United Soccer League’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2004-05).