Premier League clubs spend billions of pounds each year on skillful players, luxury stadiums and state-of-the-art training facilities. These are the richest football club owners fuelling the top flight’s insane spending.
Transfer expenditure has spiralled out of control in recent years. Premier League clubs spent £1.41 billion on purchasing new players throughout the 2016/17 season. That is up from £460 million a decade earlier and £157 million in 1996/97.
That figure doesn’t include the astronomical wages that players are paid. The average top flight player receives £47,000-a-week, but some take home as much as £290,000.
Those costs are covered somewhat by increasingly high broadcasting rights deals, appearance fees and match day revenues. However, the league’s biggest spenders are usually bankrolled by some of the business world’s wealthiest figures.
But who are these richest football club owners that are fuelling the Premier League’s rising costs and how much have they invested?
Roman Abramovich – Chelsea
Chelsea’s billionaire owner tops the list, having invested £2 billion in the club since taking over in 2003. High fee transfers are his speciality, with the club previously splashing out on Fernando Torres (£50m), Andriy Shevchenko (£37m) and Diego Costa (£32m).
The self-made billionaire made his fortune through oil and metals. As a result, he is now the 151st richest person in the world, with a wealth of £7 billion. While many felt that the rich Russian would up and leave once he got bored of his new ‘toy’, Abramovich’s private box at Stamford Bridge is still frequently used.
Glazer Family – Manchester United
Following the death of Malcolm Glazer in 2014, England’s most successful club remains under the control of his two sons, Joel and Avram. The club is just one of the famous family’s many assets. They also own NFL club Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a portfolio of properties, with a total wealth of £3 billion.
Manchester United generates millions in sponsorship fees every year. Yet, that hasn’t stopped the Glazer family from investing in their Premier League club. The three of them have pumped over £800 million into Manchester United over the years.
Stan Kroenke – Arsenal
With a portfolio of sports clubs that includes NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and MLS’ Colorado Rapids, it’s incredible that Kroenke finds the time to manage a football club on the other side of the globe, let alone money to invest in it. Yet, with £5.9 billion in the bank, there is plenty to go around.
Many complain about Arsenal’s reluctance to spend in the transfer market. However, Kroenke’s investment suggests otherwise. The sports mogul has splashed out £450 million over the years, bankrolling moves for Mesut Ozil (£40m), Granit Xhaka (£38m) and Alexis Sanchez (£36m).
4. John Henry – Liverpool
Liverpool fans have grown unhappy with John Henry since his takeover in 2010, as the club struggle to regain their place as one of England’s top clubs.
The Boston Red Sox owner has sanctioned the sale of star players such as Fernando Torres (£50m), Javier Mascherano (£22m) and Luis Suarez (£75). As a result, Liverpool have earned more from player sales than any other European club since 2010.
Although, despite the large sums brought in, Henry has still had to invest in his club. Since 2010, he has spent £300 million on Liverpool, leaving his fortune at £1.84 billion.
Richest football club owners: Who else makes the list?
With football’s popularity continuously growing, a number of new faces from around the world have joined the growing list of rich Premier League owners. Most of them want to create the next elite club, but will it be yours?