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Investors Enter Feeding Frenzy for Premiership Clubs

JawsFilmCover Investors Enter Feeding Frenzy for Premiership Clubs

Love it or hate it, the success of the Premier League in recent years is created a feeding frenzy among investors as they attempt to snap up the remaining clubs that aren’t already owned by foreign investors.

While the purchases of Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Portsmouth and Aston Villa are well documented, the question is what clubs are next that are ripe for a takeover? Arsenal’s buy-out by Stan Kroenke, to me, is inevitable. In fact, The Observer newspaper is reporting that a £650 million takeover is in the works.

Manchester City, meanwhile, is in the midst of a tussle between the former Thai prime minister and former player Ray Ranson who has tabled a £90 million bid for City. However, there have been strong rumors of an American investor interested in purchasing the club, so Ranson’s offer to City may force the hand of the mystery American so he can be revealed to us all.

Last weekend, I posted a poll and asked you which clubs you thought would be the next ones to be purchased by American investors. I made an educated guess and offered you the choice of Newcastle, Spurs, Reading, Everton and Fulham.

Little did I know that financial experts in London are predicting that between now and the end of the year, Newcastle, Reading and Fulham could be in the hands of American investors. The Observer didn’t mention Spurs or Everton. However, the second largest shareholder in Everton FC is English-born Florida resident (and Planet Hollywood founder) Robert Earl.

In January, US hedge fund Polygon called off talks with Newcastle United. Reading chairman John Madjeski has stated publicly that he’s seeking a buyer. With a passionate and affluent fan base, Reading could be purchased for a lot less than Manchester City, I believe. However, outside of Berkshire, Reading has a small loyal fan base. Sure, they have many admirers of their attacking style of play (myself included), but would you swear your allegiance and buy a Reading shirt?

By the end of 2007, what clubs will be left that haven’t been purchased by foreign investors? Middlesbrough, Bolton, Blackburn and Wigan… all clubs that aren’t as attractive as the high flyers in the league.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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