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They’ll Buy Who They Want: The Richest Club Owners in English Football

September 07, 2015

- Grant Whittington

English football is now a rich man’s game, and one that requires significant investment in the pursuit of the most prestigious trophies.

This not only applies to the fans who travel the length and breadth of the UK to watch their favourite team in action, but also the owners who build clubs and attempt to make them a viable and profitable force.

There are some incredibly rich club owners in the English game, with even well-resourced chairmen such as Aston Villa’s Randy Lerner nowhere near the top of the list.

Whilst we’re on the subject of large quantities of cash, many new bookmakers offer free bets and other sign up offers if you fancy a punt on any of the sides of the moneybags below.

So who exactly makes up the top three when it comes to the English game?

Roman Abramovich (Chelsea, $13.8 billion)

Like many Russian billionaires, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich made the majority of his money from oil and steel. He was also one of the first owners of his type to invest in a football club, buying Chelsea for the bargain price of £130 million and clearing their existing debts.

After more than a decade in charge he has guided the club to its most successful period in history, while also spending millions on player procurement and academy development. With Chelsea having won the last two FA Youth Cup tournaments, the latter part of this investment seems to be finally coming good.

Alisher Usmanov (Arsenal, $18.6 billion)

Another Russian who made his fortune from steel (alongside extensive mining), Usmanov is the richest man in Russia and also the owner of Arsenal.

He is the major shareholder at the club, and has so far refused to either yield his equity or play a silent role in the club’s off-field management. He has penned regular letters criticising the club’s business model, especially during a period when the club has won just two trophies in 10 years, and remains a vocal figure at the head of the club.

Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Manchester City, $31.5 Billion)

Incredibly, Sheikh Mansour has a net worth that is nearly double that of Arsenal’s Usmanov. It is this wealth that has driven Manchester City’s recent success, and the chairman is thought to have invested a staggering £1.5 billion into the club since his takeover in 2008.

Although the club has recorded a loss during Mansour’s formative years and fallen foul of FIFA’s financial Fair Play laws, the club continues to compete for honours at the very top of the game.

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