The world of football has been swept by rich owners over the last decade. Absurdly rich people purchasing the clubs make it possible for some clubs to gain unfair advantage, but so far it has been strongly pronounced for couple of clubs – Manchester City and Chelsea. Large financial backing from rich owner does help many other clubs too, and this list is a look at which clubs have the richest owners.
10. John Freriksen
Vålerenga’s owner Frediksen is extremely rich, but lowly Norwegian league doesn’t attract such interest that splashing money around would be reasonable. Still, its one of the top clubs in Norway and should its standing be shaken, investment would not be a problem.
9. Philip Anschutz
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LA Galaxy owner is the one who splashes cash around in MLS – most high profile transfer of course being David Beckham mega-deal that saw Becks play in Galaxy for years. Anschutz is a very wealthy man with a net worth of $7 billion. LA Galaxy is not the only club he is involved with, since he is a co-founder of MLS and numerous other clubs.
8. Alisher Usmanov
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Part of Arsenal board, Usmanov has a massive fortune but being minority shareholder, it doesn’t affect Arsenal too much. Still, Usmanov ranks up there with the others as far as rich football club owners go.
7. Francois-Henri Pinault
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Stade Rennais’ owner Francois-Henri Pinault is the richest owner of a football club in France, apart from Qatar Investestment Authority who own PSG, but that is not an individual owner. Pinault’s personal wealth doesn’t really show on club’s performances, though, since Stade Rennais has been consistently decent, but nothing special over the last few seasons.
6. Lakshmi Mittal
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QPR’s this season might have been a struggle, but in larger scheme of things they still are a club on the rise. This is no small part to being owned by a very wealthy owner. Mittal indeed was as high as 6th richest person in the world in 2011, though his position has dropped since due to decreased wealth.
In any case, QPR won’t lack money.
5. Silvio Berlusconi
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Milan’s owner and former Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi has been in the news a lot and is certainly no stranger to controversy. He is also not lacking in money, with net worth of estimated $5.9 billion. Milan are an established big club with a lot of history, but it seems as though Berlusconi’s money has not helped them of late.
4. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani
Future seemed exciting for Malaga when filthy rich Sheikh Al Thani purchased the club. It seemed like financial troubles were thing of the past and there would be huge influx of talent over the next few seasons.
It didn’t turn out exactly like that, though. Al Thani quickly, for whatever reason, tightened his purse and seemed to lose all interest in Malaga. Now club is riddled with debts from the outrageous initial purchases, though still performing well after selling some of its key players.
Al Thani’s and Malaga’s case is prime example of rich owner going wrong for the club.
3. Sultan Kerimov
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Anzhi’s super rich owner Kerimov has really started to move things around in his club. Purchases of likes of Samuel Eto’o, Roberto Carlos and Christopher Samba are just the tip of the iceberg, as Kerimov has invested also millions in clubs infrastructure. If he keeps it up – and there’s no reason why he wouldn’t – Anzhi will soon be one of the biggest, if not the biggest club in Russia.
2. Roman Abramovich
The most famous of all football owners, Abramovich has splashed money around for Chelsea ever since 2003 and doesn’t seem to be slowing down now that the rebuilding of the team is in progress. $50 million transfer spends per window seem a rule for Abramovich, not an exception.
1. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Manchester City’s owner is part of the Abu Dhabi United Group that purchased the club. He is also deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and has a wealth of $31 billion – the almost half a billion he has spent on player purchases alone doesn’t really seem all that much in comparison. Manchester City’s rise in stature since he became owner has been undeniable, though with the amount of money used, you could very well say that City brute-forced their way to the top with power of money.