Football, aside from the passion and the entertainment that it provides, is also a very lucrative enterprise. Clubs generate revenue from various sources ranging from tickets sales, shirts sales, promotions, sponsorships, partnerships among others.
Americans are passionate lovers of sports, as a result, sporting ventures have yielded huge profits for owners, investors, and stakeholders in the US.
In recent decades, American sports investors and businessmen have ventured into European football because of its huge popularity and profits.
Here, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings the top European football clubs owned by Americans.
1. MANCHESTER UNITED (THE GLAZERS FAMILY)
American businessman, Malcolm Glazer, initially bought 3.17% share of Manchester United in 2003, thereafter, he embarked on a gradual takeover of the club by buying the shares of other shareholders and completely took over the _Red Devils_ in 2005. The total cost of the takeover was estimated to be around £800m. Manchester United is one of the most successful football clubs in England.
Glazer’s purchase of United was fiercely protested by the club’s fans because he took several loans for the capital with which he bought the club and secured the loans with the club’s assets. He also incurred interests reaching over £60m annually.
Upon Malcolm’s death in 2014, his family took over the club. Despite being unpopular with the fans due to their policies, the Glazers family still remain the owners of Manchester United till date.
2. ARSENAL (STAN KROENKE)
Stan Kroenke — under his company Kroenke Sports and Entertainments — owns Arsenal Football Club. Kroenke bought a 9.9% share of Arsenal in 2007 and continued increasing his shares by buying from other shareholders. In 2018, he completed his full ownership of the club by buying the shares of the last major shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, for around £500m.
Apart from Arsenal, Kroenke Sports and Entertainments also own NFL side Los Angeles Rams, NBA side Denver Nuggets, MLS team Colorado Rapids, NHL side Colorado Avalanches, NLL side Colorado Mammoths, E-sports investments Los Angeles Gladiators and Los Angeles Guerrillas.
Kroenke is also into real estate and television, radio, and print media. He is married to the daughter of one of the co-founders of Walmart. He is one of the most popular football club owners.
3. AC MILAN (ELLIOTT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION)
Italian giants, AC Milan, are owned by American investment management firm, Elliott Management Corporation based in Florida, USA. The firm was founded by Paul Singer.
The investment firm took over the ownership of Milan in 2018 when the club’s then-owner Li Yonghong defaulted in his €415m loan borrowed from them.
4. LIVERPOOL (FENWAY SPORTS GROUP)
Amid financial crisis, Liverpool was purchased by Fenway Sports Group for around £300m in 2010. FSG is owned by John Henry and Thomas Werner.
The group also owns Major League Basketball side Boston Red Sox. It also has investments in sport management, music, and car racing.
5. OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE (FRANK McCOURT)
American businessman, Frank McCourt, bought Olympique Marseille from Russian-Swiss billionaire Margarita Louis-Dreyfus in 2016.
6. FULHAM (SHAHID KHAN)
Fulham is owned by Pakistani-American businessman and sports tycoon, Shahid Khan. He bought the London-based club in 2013 in a deal reported to be between £150 to 200m.
Khan also owns All Elite Wrestling (AEW), NFL side Jacksonville Jaguars, and American automotive company Flex-N-gate.
7. MILLWALL (JOHN BERYLSON & RICHARD SMITH)
English Championship club, Millwall FC, is owned by American businessmen John Berylson and Richard Smith. Berylson has been the club’s owner since 2007.
8. PARMA (KRAUSE GROUP)
Italian Serie B side, Parma, are owned by the Krause Group — owners of American-based convenience store chain, Kum & Go.
The group purchased the club in 2020 amid the financial crisis.
9. FIORENTINA (ROCCO BENITO COMMISSO)
Italian side Fiorentina are owned by Italian-American businessman, Rocco Benito Commisso. Commisso is the founder and owner of Mediacom — the 5th largest cable TV company in the USA.
He is also the owner of the American soccer club, the New York Cosmos.
10. BURNLEY (ALK CAPITAL)
In 2020, sports investment company Velocity Sports Partners, which is an arm of American management firm, ALK Capital, bought 84% shares of English Premier League side, Burnley.
11. TOULOUSE (REDBIRD CAPITAL PARTNERS)
French Ligue 2 side Toulouse is owned by American investment company RedBird Capital Partners. RedBird Capital Partners acquired an 85% stake in Toulouse FC in July 2020.