Who are the richest football club owners in the world?
The beautiful game of football is one of the richest and most followed sports in the world, boasting several different high-powered leagues with worldwide markets. This has epitomized greatly and significantly shifted with the increased money-bag incentives on offer – the type of club owners at the world’s top clubs.
Gone are the old years when club owners and presidents were largely undiscussed figures who acted as mere custodians, the philosophy being that the club ultimately belonged to its club fans.
Today, football is awash with a breed of mega-rich entrepreneurial owners who tend to fall into two main categories – those who want to make themselves even richer through football, or those who are so ludicrously wealthy that they want a project to lavish finance on.
And as such, when it comes to transfers, there are several mega-rich club owners who can splash their cash and lure the biggest and the best players in the world to their various club sides.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the world, and not sparring football, the owners of these clubs have managed to remain largely unaffected by the pandemic
Let’s Take A Look At 10 Richest Club Owners In Football
- 10. Robert Kraft – New England Revolution, MLS – $6.9 billion
Kraft may not be popular in Europe, but he’s undoubtedly a bigwig in the NFL and the MLS.
The American billionaire businessman has been a fan of the NFL side New England Patriots since the 70s before he founded New England Revolution Football Club in 1996 and he’s been the only financier ever since.
Under his watch, The Patriots have won six Super Bowls since 2002 while his New England Revolution side has been a force to reckon with in the Eastern Conference of the MLS.
New England Revolution finished eighth in the Eastern Conference of the MLS in the 2020-21 campaign, while Kraft, who owns the club is the tenth richest club owner in the world as of now.
- 9. Zhang Jindong – Inter, Serie A – $8 billion
Here’s the Chinese man who looks set to deliver Inter’s first SerieA title in eleven years in the ongoing season.
Zhang is best known as the founder and the current largest shareholder of Suning Holdings Group through which he purchased the largest existing shares of 68.55% at Inter Milan in 2016.
And for the short time he’s been there, his team has become competitive again on the homefront and in Europe. His son, Zhang Kangyang is reportedly on the Inter Milan administrative board.
- 8. Nasser Al-Khelaifi – PSG, Ligue 1 – $8 billion
Khelafi funded the record signing of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG in 2017. The former tennis player is also the Qatar Tennis Federation President and the President for the Asian Tennis Association for West Asia landed at PSG in 2011.
It’s safe to say that the five-year plan he mapped out to take PSG to the next level on the homefront and in Europe has become a reality given PSG’s exploits since he became the President.
The Paris Clubside has bagged seven Ligue1 titles, five French Cups, Six French League Cups and eight Trophée des Champions Cups since Khelafi’s arrival.
The holy grail, however, has been the Champions League which they emerged runners up last season. Meanwhile, they have a leg in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League following their 1 – 4 thrashing of Barcelona at the Camp Nou last February.
Will they win the UCL this season? This question will be answered in the coming months.
READ ALSO: 8 Worst Club Owners & President In Football
- 7. Stan Kroenke – Arsenal/ Colorado Rapid, Premier League/MLS -$8.3 billion
The Arsenal owner occupies the seventh spot in the world currently. He’s another popular American billionaire who has other ventures that rakes-in billions of dollars for him aside from football.
The 73-year-old may have been loathed by some set of Arsenal fans on the basis that he’s got no clear vision for the club as they search for the first EPL title since 2004 continues.
However, he’s been impactful in his control of Arsenal since he landed at the North London club in 2008, but he’s taking things slowly.
Kroenke also owns a number of other sports teams which include the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, Denver Nuggets of the NBA, Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer aside Arsenal in the Premier League.
- 6. Philip Anschutz – LA Galaxy, MLS – $10.1 billion
Philip Anschutz is an American businessman who runs other businesses which contribute monumentally to the American Economy. These include energy, railroads, petroleum business, real estate, sports, newspapers, movies, theatres, arenas and music. But his major firm is the LA Galaxy Football Club.
The 81-year-old is very respected and influential in the American nation. Anschutz was one of the founding members of Major League Soccer in 1996 and has owned a number of other club sides aside LA Galaxy.
Clubs he has been involved with include Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. United, and the New York/New Jersey MetroStars.
- 5. Roman Abramovich – Chelsea, Premier League – $12.5 billion
Abramovich, a Russian, is no doubt the most popular and recognized club owner since the early 2000s, which is largely due to his touch of gold on Chelsea.
The politician took over at Chelsea in 2003 and bagged his first Premier League title in 2005 after he appointed Jose Mourinho as the manager. The Blues have gone on to win four more League titles, one UEFA Champions League and two UEFA Europa League titles.
The reason a section of Chelsea fans believes that The West London side has been the most successful English club since the 2000s is simply because of the ebullient Russian-Israeli billionaire businessman and politician, Roman Abramovich.
- 4. Dietmar Hopp – Hoffenheim, Bundesliga – $18.5 billion
Dietmar Hopp is a former football player who played for Hoffenheim as a teenager but now a software engineer and entrepreneur. The 80-year-old computer genius was reported to be the eighth richest person in Germany and seventy-second in the world last year.
Unlike some billionaires mentioned above, Hopp’s financial prowess hasn’t become popular simply because he’s started the football business with a lower-based club side longer before now.
When Hopp became the chief financial backer of the German football club in 1990, TSG Hoffenheim was a club playing in the lowest tiers of the German Football League. But with his presence, the club became a major force right from the early 2000s.
The rest is history today, Hoffenheim is no longer minnows in German football. The club finished third in the 2017/2018 Bundesliga season and have also been consistent in the UEFA Europa League.
- Andrea Agnelli – Juventus, Serie A – $19.1 billion
Andrea Agnelli is the current chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), which arguably makes him the most powerful man in club football.
The Italian businessman has been around at Juventus since 2010; becoming the fourth member of his family to take charge of the Bianconeri after his dad, granddad and uncle.
Juventus has hegemonized Italian football in Agnelli’s eleven-year reign, winning the SerieA title for nine consecutive years.
Like Paris Saint Germain, Agnelli has bankrolled Juventus massively in transfer markets, with the biggest of them being the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018. But despite that, the much-coveted UEFA Champions League has been eluding them since they last won it in 1996.
For how long would Agnelli and Juventus wait?
- 2.Dietrich Mateschitz – RB Leipzig/ Red Bull Salzburg, German Bundesliga/Austrian Bundesliga – $26.9 billion
Did you know? Dietrich Mateschitz narrowly missed out on being named as the richest man in club football.
Mateschitz is an Austrian billionaire, famous for being the co-founder and 49% owner of Red Bull energy drink company.
Aside from owning football clubs, Mateschitz also owns the Formula 1 side, Red Bull Racing.
His football clubs are not doing badly as well; Red Bull Salzburg is arguably the best and biggest club in Austrian football, while RB Leipzig, having been established in 2009 has become a popular name and brand in the German Bundesliga and Europe.
In the Covid-19 ravaged 2019/2020 season, the Mateschitz-led club reached the semi-finals of Europe’s premier competition, before being beaten by Paris Saint-Germain.
- 1 Sheikh Mansour- Manchester City, Premier League – $30 billion
It’s unsurprising that Sheikh Mansour, Emirati politician and the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates is the richest football club owner given his famous takeover at Manchester City in 2008.
Since Mansour bought Manchester City, the club has recorded huge success domestically. Winning four Premier League titles, their first league titles since 1968, been runners up on three further occasions and won two FA Cups and five League Cups.
They look to have a hand on the fifth Premier League title as they sit at the summit of the current season with fifteen points ahead of their local rivals, Manchester United.
However, the UEFA Champions League remains Mansour and Cityzens’ ultimate goal.
|1.||Sheikh Mansour||Manchester City||$30 billion|
|2.||Dietrich Mateschitz||RB Leipzig/ RB Salzburg||$26.9 billion|
|3.||Andrea Agnelli||Juventus||$19.1 billion|
|4.||Dietmar Hopp||Hoffenheim||$18.5 billion|
|5.||Roman Abramovich||Chelsea||$12.5 billion|
|6.||Philip Anschutz||LA Galaxy||$10.1 billion|
|7.||Stan Kroenke||Arsenal/Colorado Rapids||$8.3 billion|
|8.||Nasser Al-Khelaifi||PSG||$8 billion|
|9.||Zhang Jindong||Inter Milan||$8 billion|
|10.||Robert Kraft||New England Revolution||$6.9 billion|
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
READ ALSO: 10 Richest Club Owners In World Football
- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)