Who owns your Premier League club – and what does it mean?

6 February 2024 0 By Total Football News
Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour

The Ineos investment in Manchester United. Manchester City's sister club Girona riding high in Spain's La Liga. Rumoured Saudi Pro League club interest in Newcastle players. The issue of multi-club ownership models is back in focus.

Rules around multi-club ownership could soon be tightened up, with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin recently saying it is his "biggest problem where I don't have a solution".

City and Girona occupy Champions League qualification places, with City's owner, the Abu Dhabi-backed City Football Group, also owning a 47% stake in Girona.

Uefa rules stop anyone having "control or influence" over two clubs in the same Uefa competition, and in March Ceferin said they needed a "rethink".

He told the Telegraph last month that the challenge is one of "perception" around integrity if clubs under the same control meet in the same competition.

"[You would] say, 'Look, your competition is fixed', and then you start losing everything."

In 2017 Uefa ruled that RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg - both of whom are associated with energy-drink maker Red Bull - were allowed to play in the Champions League.

Uefa ruled "no individual or legal entity had a decisive influence over more than one club" and it did not affect the integrity of the competition.

What measures are in place?

At the start of this season Brighton and Aston Villa had to make "significant changes" to comply with Uefa rules.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom is involved with Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, with both featuring in the Europa League. Villa's owners have a stake in Portugal's Vitoria Guimaraes, and both appeared in the Europa Conference League.

Uefa said the changes implemented "substantially restrict the investors' influence and decision-making power over more than one club, ensuring compliance with the multi-club ownership rule".

In addition, the clubs involved agreed they would not transfer players to each other "permanently or on loan, directly or indirectly, until September 2024" or "use any joint scouting or player database".

In November Premier League clubs narrowly voted against a temporary ban on 'related-party loans' between clubs under the same ownership.

Ownership models in the Premier League

Arsenal

American Stan Kroenke acquired a 9.9% stake in Arsenal in 2007, became majority shareholder in 2011 and assumed 100% ownership in 2018.

He owns Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, the holding company of Arsenal and Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids.

Aston Villa

Owners Nassef Sawaris and Wes Edens, who refer to themselves as V Sports, purchased a controlling stake in Villa in 2018.

In March last year V Sports bought a 46% stake in Vitoria Guimaraes. In July, after both clubs qualified for the Europa Conference League, it reduced its stake to 29% to comply with Uefa rules.

Brentford

Owner Matthew Benham first took full control of Brentford in June 2012 after initially investing in his boyhood club in 2005.

Benham also held majority shares in Danish side FC Midtjylland, but sold them in August.

Brighton

In 2009 Tony Bloom, who is a Brighton fan, secured a 75% shareholding in the club and in 2018 completed the takeover of Saint-Gilloise.

In July, after both clubs qualified for the Europa League to comply with Uefa rules, Bloom became a minority shareholder of Union and president Alex Muzio increased his investment to become a majority shareholder.

Bournemouth

In 2022 Bournemouth owner Maxim Demin sold his 100% stake to American businessman Bill Foley's Black Knight Football Club.

Foley is chairman of Cannae Holdings Inc, which has a 50.1% interest in the club. The minority ownership group is led by Hollywood actor Michael B Jordan, his first foray into professional sports ownership.Foley bought a minority stake in French Ligue 1 club Lorient in January 2023, and in November was awarded the licence for an expansion team in Australia's A-League, to be based in Auckland, New Zealand. Last month the Scottish Football Association cleared Foley to buy into Premiership club Hibernian, subject to his minority shareholding not exceeding 29.99% and it not precluding Hibs from playing in Europe.

Burnley

American investment group ALK Capital completed its takeover of Burnley by buying an 83% stake in 2020, and last month it agreed a "strategic relationship" with Scottish Premiership side Dundee.

In May last year former NFL star JJ Watt and his wife Kealia, a ex-USA forward, announced their investment in Burnley.

In August Burnley announced US sport and YouTube entertainment group Dude Perfect had also invested.

Chelsea

chelsea ownership

American investor Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital completed a £4.25bn takeover of Chelsea in 2022.

Boehly is also a part-owner of seven-time baseball World Series champions the LA Dodgers, US women's basketball team the Los Angeles Sparks and NBA franchise the Los Angeles Lakers.

In June Chelsea's owners agreed a deal to buy a majority stake in French Ligue 1 club Strasbourg.

There is concern in some quarters about whether there is Saudi involvement at Stamford Bridge. There is uncertainty over whether Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), holds a stake in Clearlake Capital, but club sources have rejected suggestions of any direct involvement.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace are one of five clubs owned by John Textor's Eagle Football Holdings. It purchased a 40% stake in 2021 and also owns Brazil's Botafogo, Belgian top-flight club RWD Molenbeek and US academy outfit FC Florida.

Textor completed the takeover of French side Lyon in 2022.

Everton

Farhad Moshiri became major shareholder in 2016 by purchasing 49.9% of Everton. Since then he has increased his stake to 94.1%.

However, in September Everton were close to being sold to Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners. That potential takeover is yet to be ratified by the Premier League.

They have invested in various football clubs around the world, including Vasco de Gama in Brazil, Standard Liege in Belgium and Hertha Berlin of Germany. The firm also holds a share in La Liga side Sevilla, who won the Europa League last season.

Fulham

Shahid Khan purchased Fulham in 2013. He also owns NFL side the Jacksonville Jaguars and co-owns wrestling company All Elite Wrestling (AEW) with his son, Tony, who is the president and chief executive of AEW.

Liverpool

Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool in a £300m deal in 2010. In 2021 Redbird Capital Partners, a private investment firm, bought a stake in FSG for about $735m (£533m).

Redbird owns Serie A side AC Milan and French Ligue 1 club Toulouse.

Luton Town

Luton are owned by the group Luton Town Football Club 2020, chaired by David Wilkinson. Director Paul Ballantyne has a significant interest in the company.

Manchester City

The City Football Group (CFG) - founded by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Khaldoon Al Mubarak - is owned by three organisations. A majority 81% is owned by Abu Dhabi United Group, while American firm Silver Lake owns 18% and Chinese firms China Media Capital and CITIC Capital have a 1% stake.

CFG has 12 clubs on its books, including Girona, Mumbai City, Melbourne City, New York City, Palermo and sides in South America and Asia.

All the clubs owned by the City Football GroupFigures reported in the Guardian

Manchester United

In December Sir Jim Ratcliffe agreed to buy a 25% stake in Manchester United for about $1.3bn (£1bn). This means Ratcliffe's Ineos Group will take control of football operations.

Ineos owns French club Nice, who are second in Ligue 1 and well placed to qualify for next season's Champions League, and Swiss top-flight club Lausanne.

bbc sport

Newcastle United

Newcastle are owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which provided 80% of the funds for the takeover in 2021. PIF has assets reported to be between of £250bn and £700bn, which - in theory - makes Newcastle one of the richest clubs in the world.

In June PIF took over four of the leading Saudi Arabian clubs - Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ahli and Al-Ittihad.

In November a Premier League vote to temporary ban related-party loans did not receive the required support. It means Newcastle will be able to sign players on loan from sides controlled by their Saudi owners.

During the January transfer window Newcastle midfielder Miguel Almiron was linked with a move to Saudi side Al-Shabab, which is not owned by PIF.

Nottingham Forest

Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis purchased 100% of Nottingham Forest's shares from Fawaz Al-Hasawi in 2017. The owners formed a new company NF Football Investments Ltd, registered in the UK.

Marinakis has also been the owner of Greek top-flight side Olympiakos since 2010 and Portuguese side Rio Ave since November.

Sheffield United

In 2013 Prince Abdullah purchased 50% of Sheffield United. Despite returning to the Premier League for the 2023-23 season, Prince Abdullah made clear his intention to sell the club. In February last year it was reported that Nigerian billionaire Dozy Mmobuosi's takeover was at an "advanced stage", but no deal was secured.

Prince Abdullah is the founder of United World Group, which holds 75% of shares in Belgium club Beerschot and full ownership of Saudi Arabian second division team Al-Hilal United, French side Chateauroux and Indian outfit Kerala United.

Tottenham

British investment company ENIC International holds 87% of shares in Tottenham. The family trust of Joe Lewis owns 70% of ENIC, with the remainder owned by the family trust of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

ENI invested in Rangers, Slavia Prague, AEK Athens, Vincenza Calcio and Basel in the late 1990s but sold those shares in order to take a bigger stake in Tottenham in 2007.

West Ham

The majority of shares of West Ham are split between David Sullivan (38%), Sparta Prague owner Daniel Kretinsky (27%) and Vanessa Gold (25%).

Gold's shares belonged to her father David until his death in January last year. Those shares were then passed to Vanessa's sister Jacqueline, but she died in March, leaving them to Vanessa.

Kretinsky took a 27% stake in West Ham in 2021. The Czech businessman was influential in bringing in Czech Republic-based players Vladimir Coufal, Tomas Soucek and Alex Kral to the club.

Wolves

Wolves are owned by Fosun Group, a Chinese investment firm headed up Guo Guangchang.

The wife of Guangchang, Jenny Wang, owned the majority of shares in Swiss club Grasshoppers, but sold them last month to MLS franchise Los Angeles FC.


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport website - the original link is: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/67497377