Ten most rich men who own your favourite club
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has re-iginited his interest in EPL side Arsenal, saying he intends to buy the club in 2021. While that is not going to be a walk in the park, there are already wealthy men around the club who own some of the world’s biggest clubs and making big bucks from them. So who are they?
1. Sheikh Mansour (Man City)
The English Premier League champions are owned by City Football Group (CFG) of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with Chinese investors, led by media and entertainment group CMC Inc holding about 12 per cent and US private equity film Silver Lake just over 10 per cent.
Abu Dhabi United Group, the investment vehicle owned by Sheikh Mansour, retained majority ownership after Silver Lake agreed in November to pay $500 million (Sh50 billion) for its stake, making CFG the world’s most valuable soccer group with a $4.8 billion price tag.
2. Glazers (Man United)
Bought by the American Glazer family for 790 million pounds (Sh100 billion) in 2005, the club has become a cash cow for the owners who took advantage of its on-pitch success to generate record revenues.
The club has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012 but the Glazers retain majority ownership of the 20-time English champions.
United, which has a current market valuation of around $3.25 billion (Sh325 billion), was a subject of interest from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman last year but a concrete bid was not submitted.
3. John W Henry (Liverpool)
The European champions and Premier League leaders have been owned since 2010 by the Fenway Sports Group after a 300 million pound (Sh39.5 billion) deal.
Fenway also owns the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team. Fenway is owned by American businessman John W. Henry, who also owns the Boston Globe and is the co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.
4. Stan Kroenke (Arsenal)
A subject of interest from Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, who has earmarked 2021 as the year he intends to buy the club, the Gunners are currently owned by American billionaire and sports entrepreneur Stan Kroenke.
Kroenke struck a deal to take full control of Arsenal in 2018 by buying out Russian rival Alisher Usmanov, valuing the English Premier League club at around $2.3 billion (Sh230 billion).
5. Roman Abramovic (Chelsea)
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the London club for a reported 140 million pounds (Sh18 billion) in 2003 and they have since become a major force in the European game.
While he has constantly changed coaches in search of success, the Abramovich era has yielded five EPL titles, a Champions League and five FA Cups, making the Blues one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
6. Agnelli (Juventus)
Listed on the stock market in Milan, the Agnelli family that founded the Fiat motor group remain the controlling shareholder at Juve, Italian champions for the past eight seasons.
The club went through one of its lowest moments in 2006 when they were relegated after a match-fixing scandal.
However, they bounced back and returned to Serie A the following season and after struggling for five years, they got it right in 2012 and have not looked back since.
7. Suning Group (Inter Milan)
Chinese electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd bought nearly 70 per cent of Inter Milan for 270 million euros (Sh30 billion) in 2016 in what was the highest-profile takeover of a European team by a Chinese firm.
That happened at the time was going through a rough patch but since the hiring of Antonio Conte at the start of this season, they look a different side and only trail Juventus by two points at the top of the league table.
8. Fans (Bayern)
German champions are 75 per cent owned by their fans, with sportswear brand Adidas, carmaker Audi and insurer Allianz all having stakes of 8.33 per cent each.
That seems to be working well for the Baverian giants who are Germany’s biggest team and have won the last seven straight Bundesliga titles.
9. Fans (Real Madrid/Barcelona)
The two Spanish clubs are owned by their fans through membership schemes.
They regularly have the highest revenue of any European soccer clubs thanks to their commercial appeal and just last week, Barcelona were ranked the most profitable club in the world after revenues of 741 million pounds (Sh98 billion) last year with Madrid second on 667 million pounds (Sh89 billion) over a similar period. They continue to dominate Spanish and European football as well.
10. Qatar Invest’ (PSG)
It is owned by Qatar Sports Investments, established by the son of the emir and heir to the Qatari throne Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, which bought a 70 per cent stake in PSG in 2011.
The remaining 30 per cent was purchased from Colony Capital the following year, at a price that valued the entire club at 100 million euros (Sh110 billion).
Since the purchase, PSG has become a major force in world football as they have won six of the last seven French league titles although the UEFA Champions League continues to elude them.