In the spirit of the off-season, and because we all need plenty of football reading to keep us sane as we wait for the kick-off to the new Premier League season, here are two for the price of one.
First of all, we’ll have a look at the richest owners of football clubs over the last 10 years. Guys that have given clubs an unfair advantage and spent ludicrous sums on some pretty average players.
At number 10, we have John Freriksen
He owns a pretty low-level Norwegian side but is worth a fortune.
At number 9, we have Philip Anschutz
He is the LA Galaxy owner who of course brought David Beckham to the club. He is also the co-founder of the Major League Soccer and many of the clubs in that league.
At number 8, we have Alisher Usmanov
Usmanov sounds like someone out of Borat The Movie, but in fact he is a member of the Arsenal Board. He’s a minority shareholder, so in reality he doesn’t make a massive difference to the club.
Francois-Henri Pinault is at number 7
He is the Stade Rennais’ owner and the richest sole owner in French football. PSG are owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, making them the only richer body owning a football club in France.
At number 6 is Lakshmi Mittal
QPR struggled last year but did have an extremely wealthy owner. In 2011, Mittal was ranked 6th richest person in the whole world. Since then, he has dropped down the rich list but still QPR are pretty well-off.
At number 5, we have Silvio Berlusconi
Berlusconi owns A.C. Milan and of course is the former PM of Italy. He has an estimated worth of $5.9 Billion.
At number 4, we have Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani
Al-Thani owned Malaga, which was an exciting prospect for the club. He quickly lost all interest in the club and now it is riddled with debt and Sheikh is nowhere to be seen.
At number 3, we have Sultan Kerimov
The Anzhi’s owner is indeed a super rich billionaire. He bought people such as Roberto Carlos, Samuel Eto’o, and Christopher Samba and has also put millions into the infrastructure of the club.
At Number 2, we have Roman Abramovich
This is perhaps the most famous rich football club owner in the world. He splashed the cash in 2003 to buy Chelsea and has had great success. He’s recently been reunited with Jose Mourinho and is splashing the cash on players again.
At number 1, we have Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Manchester City’s group of owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group has an estimated worth of $31 Billion. The Sheikh is deputy Prime Minister and has spent almost half a billion dollars on players at Manchester City. The club has billions of reasons to be a major force in the game, and is set to continue to be so as they continue to spend and spend.
Let’s move on to list 2—the top ten richest clubs in the world.
At number 10, we have the old giant Liverpool Football Club with a worth of around 430 million. Liverpool has certainly lost their status as one of the very biggest clubs in the world over recent years. With the Luis Suarez affair continuing, and him threatening to sue the club if they don’t let him move to Arsenal, there could be more damage to the brand. However, they are still in the top 10 in terms of worth.
At number 9, we have Manchester City worth an estimated 455 million. Notable names on their team sheet include Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, and Carlos Tevez, who again may be leaving. Manchester City have had massive success and, as we saw earlier, have spent half a billion pounds on players over recent years.
At number 8, we have Juventus worth an estimated £458 million. They have the brilliant Italian keeper Buffon, the play maker Pirlo, and Paul Pogba. They have a long history of success and a massive fan-base. With recent victories in the Italian Seria A they are in a strong position.
At number 7, we have Chelsea worth an estimated £595 million. With the return of Jose Mourinho, and players such as Fernando Torres, Peter Cech, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard, and John Terry, they’re sure to be a challenge to the Premier League again this year. Jose Mourinho surely will only be satisfied if they win the Champion’s League, which will increase the worth still further.
At number 6 we have AC Milan. AC Milan are reported to be worth around 634 million. They have some brilliant names in their club such as Mario Balotelli and Robinho. Their success in the Italian League has been impressive over recent years after some somewhat lowly years.
At number 5, we have Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich are worth around £860 million and have a fantastic side. They won the Champion’s League last year and the German League is certainly one of the best if not ‘The’ best in Europe. It isn’t as lucrative as the Premier League but with players such as Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Robben, and Franck Riberyy, Bayern Munich are sure to be a brilliant team again this year. They lost in the German Super Cup but that will not surely make any difference to their success this year.
At number 4 we have Arsenal worth an estimated £880 million. They haven’t won a thing for almost eight years now but they are still a Champion’s League side with some impressive names such as Jack Wishere, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, and Lukas Podolski. They showed that they are a selling team by getting rid of Robin Van Persie but certainly are a good business with a superb fan-base.
At number 3 we have FC Barcelona worth a massive £1.72 billion. They are one of the most desirable teams in the world and play a brand of football that is certainly revered amongst other teams in the game. They have notable members in their squad such as Fabregas, Xavi, Messi, and Iniesta and are always challenging for the Champion’s League.
At number 2, we have Manchester United worth £2.09 billion. With Robin Van Persie arriving, Wayne Rooney seems out in the cold and has stated that he wants to live. However, Manchester United remain a massive brand that will stand the test of time. Time will tell however whether David Moyes managed to have the same success as Alex Ferguson had, with title after title since he took over in 1986. It’s certainly a time of transition for Manchester United but they still have many stars.
At number 1, and narrowly pipping Manchester United, is Real Madrid worth £2.18 billion. They’re certainly the desirable club to go for amongst the top players in the world. Christiano Ronaldo joined the club for a world record £80 billion and they’re chasing Gareth Bale at the moment. They also have Kaka, Karim Benzema, Iker Casillas, and a host of other talents. If you look back at their historical player list you’ll see Ronaldo, Figo, Carlos, Cannavaro, Beckham, and Zidane. They certainly have always been a sexy club and they are now the wealthiest club in the world.
So there you have it, your two for an offering. The richest owners over the last decade and the wealthiest clubs in the world. If Gareth Bale goes for over a hundred million pounds in the present transfer window, we’ll be set to see a massive competition between Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich to fight to be the supremo of Europe.