Breaking news: 5 richest Premier League club owners
Only the super rich can now afford to invest in Premier League clubs, as these eye-watering figures serve to highlight.
The summer transfer window officially opens on July 1, with club owners all over the world under pressure to spend big to enhance their squads.
This is particularly evident in the Premier League, where there is so much competition due to the dizzying prize money on offer.
As a result, the wealth poured into England’s top football clubs is astounding, with only the richest groups in the world able to invest significantly at that level. Research from SBO has highlighted those who have poured the greatest investment into the game.
Indeed, this has shown that £5.15 billion has been pumped into these clubs, with much of that money arriving from abroad. Indeed, ranked by nationality, the UK would only come third in spending.
Here are the top five groups or individuals:
#5 Government of China (Manchester City) – £265m investment
Sheikh Mansour was the man whose purchase of Manchester City changed the face of English football forever by giving United some ‘noisy neighbours’ to compete against, but it has actually been the Chinese Government that has invested most heavily into the club.
The CITIC Group has invested £265m into the squad, while Sheikh Mansour, who is the deputy prime minister of the UAE, has ploughed in £210m of his wealth into the team.
City have thrived in recent seasons, transitioning from a mere mid-table side into a team capable of attracting a manager of the calibre of Pep Guardiola, not to mention some of the best players in the game.
#4 John W. Henry (Liverpool) – £300m investment
The principal owner of Liverpool has an estimated fortune of around £1.8bn amassed thanks to his business interests and investment. He also owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the Boston Globe newspaper.
Liverpool have not been noted, however, for making any truly eye-watering transfers in recent seasons. Manager Jurgen Klopp tends to work efficiently and that has been emphasised by his acquisition of Dominic Solanke this summer on a free transfer from Chelsea, plus the capture of Mohamed Salah for around £37m – a deal that looks good for the Reds.
The Anfield side, though, have never won the Premier League, and that must be the ultimate aim of the American.
#3 Stan Kroenke (Arsenal) – £450m investment
Kroenke has cut a controversial figure at the Emirates Stadium, where he is currently the largest shareholder. His net worth is estimated at £5.9bn, but that has not stopped the North London club from penny-pinching in the transfer market. Moreover, his rare appearances at games have not endeared him to supporters either.
Arsenal have been perhaps the Premier League’s most consistent side over the course of the last 20 years, but it has been more than 10 since they have won a title and the fans are becoming restless. Most frustratingly, they have shown little willingness to compete with the others in the transfer market.
Last term, they finished outside of the Champions League spots for the first time since Arsene Wenger took charge and Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who has invested over £157m himself, is ready to increase his stake in the club.
#2 The Glazer family (Manchester United) – £800m investment
The Glazer family’s legacy has been built on real estate and retail, but they have also made a healthy profit from ownership of sports teams such as the Red Devils and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
They have come under fire in the past from Man Utd fans, most notably when they took charge of the club in 2005, but they have since appeased supporters by making the club the richest in the world. Additionally, they showed their willingness to spend big by making Paul Pogba the world’s most expensive footballer, signing him for around £90m last summer from Juventus.
However, success on the field has not necessarily followed. They find themselves struggling to recapture the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson and finished outside the Premier League’s top four during the 2016-17 season, which was salvaged only by Jose Mourinho’s men winning the Europa League.
#1 Roman Abramovich (Chelsea) – £2bn investment
By far and away the biggest person or group to invest in the Premier League has been Roman Abramovich, who has poured a staggering £2bn into Chelsea since buying the club in 2003.
When the Russia oligarch, who started out as a street trader but built up a formidable portfolio due to smart investments, took over the club, they were a run-of-the-mill team in the middle of the standings, yet virtually overnight he transformed them into a world superpower.
Since then, he has led them to Champions League glory in 2011-12 and the Premier League title on five occasions.
They go into the 2017-18 season as defending English champions and are set to buy big once again this summer in order to relaunch a renewed charge on Europe.