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Who Are The Richest Owners in the Premier League?

Football has long been a business and as such money is a huge part of the game. Long gone are the days when a local businessman who’d made a few million running a factory could buy and run a top-flight club. In the earlier years of the Premier League, multimillionaire owners became the norm and indeed Blackburn steel magnate Jack Walker helped his hometown club win the title in the 1994/95 season. Blackburn’s lavish spending spree included the likes of Tim Flowers, Alan Shearer, Chris Sutton, Colin Hendry, Henning Berg, Tim Sherwood, Graeme Le Saux, Stuart Ripley, Ian Pearce and Mark Atkins … for a total of less than £15m!

Walker was worth around £450m when he took over Rovers, but football moved into the realm of the billionaire when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003. The Russian paid £140m for the club at a time when he was estimated to be worth £3.4bn. Now such “paltry” wealth is barely sufficient to buy a top club in the first place, let alone be able to afford to run it.

We are now in the era of multi-billionaire owners, a time when Chelsea had a net spend of about £500m in the 2022/23 campaign and brokers are trying to attract offers of around £6bn for Manchester United. Being a mere billionaire is no longer enough to buy a seat at the top table of the Premier League, the richest and most powerful football league in the world. But just how rich are the richest owners in the PL?

Club Owner Estimated Wealth
Newcastle United Saudi State PIF £400bn
Manchester City Sheikh Mansour £24bn
Chelsea Todd Boehly & Partners £11bn
Arsenal Stan Kroenke £10.3bn
Fulham Shahid Khan £9.9bn

1) Newcastle United, PIF, £400bn

Small Saudi Flags on Desk

Determining exactly who owns a football club is not always straightforward for a range of reasons. Disentangling related entities, such as separating the Saudi state from their Public Investment Fund (PIF) is just one part of the problem. In addition we have the issue of split ownership, ascertaining just how rich the various parties are, and the fact that such wealth changes daily based on exchange rates, commodity prices and share valuations.

Even so, there can be no doubt that Newcastle is the richest club in the world. Some estimates of the wealth of the PIF are as “low” as £260bn, whilst others are far higher. However, we believe £400bn is currently a reasonable estimate for their wealth and that of Newcastle’s other owners. As we will see, that puts them a long way clear of any other side in England. UEFA’s Financial and Sustainability Regulations do somewhat limit how much the Magpies can spend but one rather suspects that they might just find ways to get around that!

2) Man City, Sheikh Mansour, £24bn

Abu Dhabi Skyscrapers Behind Palm Tree

As with Newcastle (and most uber-rich clubs), there are complications when it comes to calculating just how wealthy Man City’s owners are. Technically they are owned by the City Football Group, which is itself majority owned by Abu Dhabi United Group … which was founded and is owned by Sheikh Mansour.

Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to use his full(ish!) name, is the Deputy PM of the United Arab Emirates and the brother of the country’s President. As a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family it is, as with Newcastle and Saudi Arabia, not straightforward separating City’s owners and the emirate of Abu Dhabi. What we can say, however, is that these are very, very rich people, with Sheikh Mansour alone currently worth around £24bn by our estimates.

3) Chelsea, Todd Boehly, £11bn

Baseball on USA Flag

American businessman Boehly was the figurehead of the consortium that purchased Chelsea from Abramovich in 2022. He had previously tried to purchase the Blues in 2019 and is currently believed to be worth around £4.4bn. There are various other partners in the ownership consortium though, including private equity firm Clearlake Capital, and all told a figure of close to £11bn seems reasonable.

4) Arsenal, Stan Kroenke, £10.3bn

Denver City Skyline

Arsenal are owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, a holding company founded by Stan Kroenke. Kroenke is believed to be worth £10bn and owns a number of other sports teams, including the LA Rams (NFL) and the Denver Nuggets (NBA). “Silent Stan” has enjoyed great success as an owner of sports teams, landing two Super Bowls with the Rams, two Stanley Cups (NHL) with his Colorado Avalanche team and the MLS title with his “soccer” franchise, the Colorado Rapids.

Arsenal fans have not always been big fans of Kroenke and his son Josh, who has a big hand in running the Gunners. Indeed, that would be putting things mildly. However, perhaps they should have paid more attention to his record of success elsewhere. Kroenke bought the Gunners back in 2011 and whilst progress has been slow, they certainly seem very much on the up under Mikel Arteta.

5) Fulham, Shahid Khan, £9.9bn

Flags of the USA and Pakistan Merged

Some may be surprised to see Fulham on this list but Shahid Khan, who bought the Cottagers in July 2013 for around £175m, is worth a very cool £9.9bn. The Lahore-born billionaire made his fortune through Flex-N-Gate, a car parts firm he initially worked for before buying. He helped take sales from £17m per annum to almost £10bn, accruing his vast wealth along the way.

That enabled him to become the first ethnic minority owner of an NFL team in 2012 when his takeover of the Jacksonville Jaguars was finalised. He had, in fact, previously attempted to buy the St Louis Rams, as they were then known, in 2010, only to be thwarted by Arsenal owner Kroenke.

PL to Become Soft-Power Play Thing?

There are various trends one can identify when it comes to ownership of top Premier League sides. Owners are getting richer and richer, for one, whilst there is growing US interest. The following clubs all have at least some US ownership:

  • Arsenal
  • Aston Villa
  • Bournemouth
  • Chelsea
  • Crystal Palace
  • Fulham
  • Leeds United
  • Liverpool
  • Man City
  • Man United

However, perhaps the more concerning trend to many, and one which we predict we may well see more of, concerns overseas states buying into the Premier League. With Qatari interest in Man United and the existing arrangements at Newcastle and Man City we can see that the Premier League holds an appeal to gulf states.

Owning such a globally recognised sports club, or perhaps brand is the more accurate word, allows these nations to buy soft power. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are often accused of sports washing – seeking to improve their reputation through sport – but they are also buying clubs to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and attract more tourists. Time will tell as to who buys Man United but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them, and other top-flight teams, being bought by state-backed parties as the battle of the richest hots up even more.