How much have the owners of Premier League clubs invested over 10 years: United behind Brighton and Villa

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 10.5.2021.

How much have the owners of Premier League clubs invested over 10 years: United behind Brighton and Villa

With the failure of the so-called European Super League projects ownership has become a hot topic in world football. Especially in England where the claim over the clubs is most straightforward, unlike in Spain where the biggest clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona are technically owned by their members. Or in Germany where the fans hold dear to the 50+1 rule of the members retaining 50% of the voting shares at all cost. With one exception so far in RB Leipzig.

The English Premier League is by far the most profitable and the most popular domestic league so it's not a surprise that the clubs have been seen as tasty treats for the world's billionaires.

With the ESL being the American model, and the Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester United owners coming from the US, the American owners of several clubs are under the loop in England more than anyone else.

But looking at them as a whole, the football money experts at Swiss Ramble calculated the investments made by the PL clubs’ owners from 2010 to 2020.

Unsurprisingly, It's the Manchester City fans that have to be ecstatic over the Abu Dhabi United Group ownership. As the investment seeped into the north of England by its owners is estimated at €1.3 billion! Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour has poured money into Etihad until a world-class club was built.

Yet, it's not all money lost for the owners, as City now also holds the second spot in revenue over those 10 years, only behind United with €4.4 billion coming into the side.

Chelsea is the second most owner backed Premier League club in the last 10 years, unsurprisingly. Roman Abramovich put in €654,000 into the club in that period resulting in eight major and minor trophies, with a chance for two more at the end of this season. Chelsea is behind City and United in terms of revenue and wage bill

Yet, surprisingly, the Aston Villa owners are the third-placed in terms of financing the club even though Villans were in the Championship for a good part of the last 10 years. Yet the multiple owners of the club have injected the club with €527,000 the SwissRamble reports. Albeit it, they didn't have much to show for it until this season in which the club is finally having the results to back it.

The Egyptian businessman Nassef Sawiris and American businessman and private equity investor Wes Edens became together with the full owners of the club in 2018 although the later was already involved with the Birmingham side before. Yet, only until a proper sporting director arrived did the things start to click for Villa.

That's why the successes of City and Chelsea can't be really written off arrogantly as throwing money at the issue. That approach would just end up being a burned heap of money. Both these sides have invested in their structure carefully with all aspects of the club's endeavour done on a world-class organizational level.

Not to mention that for every Chelsea and City success story, there are the ones like Malaga and now Valencia. Clubs that enjoyed short stints of investment only to be left out dry and frail.

No better example of big money spent without many steps climbed is Everton football club. The Toffees have been one of the biggest spenders in Europe for many summers now. Yet they have few, if any, bragging rights to show for it. Now the ownership, British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri, is showing their strong intent to remain with the project as the club announced new stadium plans.

In the past 10 years, €400,000 have been poured into Everton by its owners, mostly by Moshiri who has had a claim in it since 2016.

If Everton was trying and organisationally failing to make an impact with big money, the next club on the list has even less to show for it. Brighton has received €373,000 from its owner, the 51-year-old Tony Bloom who has chaired over it since 2009. Most of the investment has gone into the Falmer Stadium, constructed in 2011 and able to hold 30,750 people. Who do have the privilege to enjoy quite good football yet their side is still in the "relegation zone" of all the important aspects of running a club besides owner backing: revenue, wages, player purchases.

Owners of Leicester City have the strongest bragging rights as they were the financiers of the fairytale that was their Premier League triumph. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha tragically died in 2018 in a helicopter crash but the fans of the club are still more than satisfied with their owners. Who have invested €362,000,000 into the club in the last 10 years.

Despite having the greatest revenue of all the clubs, by a lot, Manchester United is behind Leicester on ownership investment with €344,000,000. But even that didn't come from the Glazer family as the funding came from selling new shares of the club! While the massive €5.7 billion revenue over last 10 years went mostly to paying back back loans, interest and paying dividends back to the owners of the shares.

A huge drop off follows as Wolves and Liverpool have enjoyed an owner financing of €152,000,000 from 2010 to 2020. One of the reasons why LFC fans are dissatisfied with their ownership despite the money spent by the club, as it is mostly secured by the club's pure revenue.

Leeds is ahead of frequent or constant Premier League clubs such as West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Southampton with nearly €100,000,000 flowing into the club by its many owners in the last 10 years.

Where things take a staggering turn is in North London, as both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur got only €17,000,000 of owner investment during these years. While the sides have spent considerably, be it on players or players and the new stadium, it has been paid by the club itself. Showing just how self-sustaining most of these ventures are. Also, giving extra fuel to Arsenal fans who are protesting ownership in hopes of a new fan by a credited Gunner that happens to be a billionaire, Daniel Ek.

While Newcastle hasn't published their 2020 accounts, the fact that they are 0 owner investments in the last nine years justifies almost everything the fans have complained about the Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley. If the Saudi takeover happened last year as it was hoped by many in Newcastle, they would've leapfrogged many on this list in no time.

Sure, Chelsea and City have had massive pushes by their owners. But United had more money going through it, Arsenal and Liverpool have quite similar revenues to the Blues, yet have fallen back in the big picture of a decade.

Primarily, this breakdown shows just how instrumental propper structure, massive fan bases, and intent are key in a club's long-term performance.


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