Last week Blackburn Rovers became the latest Premier League club to be bought out by a foreign consortium. The purchase of Rovers was a key moment in Premier League history because it brought the number of clubs that are majority owned by foreign investors to 10, representing 50% of the league.
An asterisk should be added to that number since it includes Tottenham among the ten who are foreign owned. Even though their majority owner is English, he operates his business from Florida and the Bahamas.
So who are the owners of the 20 Premier League clubs? Here they are:
Arsenal – Arsenal Holdings plc
Arguably the club whose ownership is most contested. Arsenal operates as a private limited company. Arsenal’s board of directors own 45.2% of the club’s shares. The largest shareholder on the board is American sports investor Stan Kroenke, who has a 29.9% stake. However Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov isn’t far behind with a 26% share. It has been speculated that the two will enter a bidding war to take total control of the club. Kroenke is favourite should a bidding war occur as he is currently elected to the Arsenal board.
Aston Villa – Randy Lerner
Lerner, who also owns NFL team Cleveland Browns, took over the club in 2006. One of the less high profile investors in the league, Lerner is thought to have a net worth of around $1.5billion.
Birmingham City – Carson Yeung
Hong Kong billionaire Carson Yeung finally completed his proposed takeover of the club in 2009 after previously looking to purchase the club in 2007. The deal went through on October 9th for a reported £81.5million.
Blackburn Rovers – Venky’s Group
Poultry giant Venky’s became the first Indian owners of a Premier League club with their takeover of Rovers last week. The deal was worth around £46million and left the Ewood Park club debt free.
Blackpool – Owen Oyston
Oyston has been the majority shareholder at Blackpool since 1987 and currently owns an 80% holding in the club. Famous for work in the media Oyston is thought to have a net worth of around £105million. The other 20% of the club is owned by Latvian billionaire Valeri Belokon.
Bolton Wanderers – Eddie Davies
One of the most unglamorous names out of the Premier League owners, Davies is estimated to have a fortune of around £60million. He became the majority shareholder of the club’s holding company Burnden Leisure PLC in 2003, and is a lifelong Bolton fan.
Chelsea – Roman Abramovich
Abramovich’s takeover at Chelsea in the summer of 2003 was the first real high profile takeover of a club from a foreign investor and has really set a trend in English football. The Russian, who has made most of his estimated £7billion fortune through oil, has spent huge amounts of money in transforming Chelsea in to a footballing super-power.
Everton – Bill Kenwright
Boyhood Everton fan Kenwright completed a takeover of the club in 1999 and currently has a 27% share in the club. Other major shareholders include Robert Earl (23%) and Jon Woods (21%). The club has been linked with several buyouts in recent years and the club are said to be actively seeking investment.