Owning a soccer club can be financially heavy, tasking, and demanding, and that is a result of how professional the game of soccer has become.
In the early years of club football, ownership was usually done by students, churches, and communities who wanted to feel among and also create a source of recreational pleasure.
Nowadays, with how professional the sport has become, ownership has been mainly dominated by investors and wealthy individuals, businessmen, and technocrats, including companies and multinational companies and bodies who pump in finances.
There are also cases of shareholding in clubs where there are multiple investors, while some clubs are still run by communities where they are based.
Meanwhile, we’ve had cases where a sole individual has bought a club all by himself. Still, the new reality in football club ownership is that of celebrities, actors, actresses, musicians, and comedians.
All of them are getting into the soccer space, and with the success of Wrexham FC in the National League this season, all eyes have been on others owned by celebrities.
Here are 10 soccer clubs owned by celebrities, either in part or in cooperation with other superstars
1. LeBron James (Liverpool)
Lebron James is recognized as one of the GOATs of the NBA and basketball, and after several slams and dunks, he decided to try his hands on soccer.
He became a part-owner of Liverpool FC when he invested in Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the owners of Liverpool FC, in 2011.
FSG had become James’ chief marketing agency, and as part of the deal, James received a 2% stake in Liverpool, which was worth around $6 million at the time.
2. Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – Wrexham AFC
This is currently the Cinderella story of sports for this season as Deadpool pulled Wrexham out of misery, administratively pumped money into the club, and returned them to EFL after a long time out.
He did this alongside fellow actor Rob McElhenney in November 2020, while the takeover bid was successful in February 2021.
Since then the club has been greatly transformed, winning the National League and gaining promotion, while also pumping $50,000 into the women’s team.
3. Elton John (Watford)
Sir Elton John is popularly known to be a big fan of Watford from childhood, and he took it one step further to be the chairman of the club in 1973.
It wasn’t much of a sacrifice, but he ensured the club didn’t go cold at heart as he held the helm of the affairs at the club.
The Rocketman flew the club to their first appearance in the Premier League in the early 80s before selling the club in 1990.
He returned to the club in the mid 90s and re-hired Graham Taylor, who helped the club back up from the lower divisions again. Elton stepped down as Watford chairman in 2017.
4. Will Ferrell – Los Angeles FC
Will Ferrell is an iconic comedian and actor who went into the world of soccer as a member of 26-man ownership of MLS side Los Angeles FC. Ferrell is known as a soccer fan and a Chelsea faithful.
His sojourn into soccer ownership was in 2016, and the ownership group also has some big names in soccer and other sports, including Mia Hamm, Nomar Garciaparra, and Magic Johnson.
The club is said to be worth $4.5 billion.
5. Natalie Portman and Christiana Aguilera – Angel City FC
Los Angeles FC is not the only club in the United States that boasts of celebrity ownership; Angel City FC also boasts something similar and much more.
Angel City FC debuted in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) — one of the best women’s soccer leagues in the world — as a female club pioneered in 2022.
Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner, Billie Jean King – those are just a few of the names in Angel City FC’s star-studded ownership group, with several other former US Women’s national team players involved.
6. Michael B. Jordan – Bournemouth
American actor Michael B. Jordan became an investor with Premier League club Bournemouth in December 2022 after seeing the success of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in Wrexham.
He was part of the ownership group led by American businessman Bill Foley, who completed a £120 million takeover of the club in December 2022.
Jordan’s involvement in the ownership group was announced by the club in December 2022, and he has since expressed his excitement about the opportunity to be part of the team.
7. Matthew McConaughey — Austin FC
Americans do not take soccer as their number one sport, but the interest has been increasing lately, and so is the celebrity investment.
MLS got a new club in 2018 when Austin FC was formed and started competing in 2021.
53-year-old Matthew McConaughey is one of the lead characters, not in a romantic or a comedic movie now, but in the quest to stabilize the early days of one of MLS’s newest clubs.
He is one of four Austinites who are part-owners of the team through their investment in Two Oaks Ventures, the parent company that owns the rights to operate Austin FC.
McConaughey, who is a Texas native and resident of Austin, has been a vocal supporter of the team since its inception and has been involved in various promotional activities and events related to the team
8. Mesut Ozil, Eva Longoria & Kate Upton – Necaxa
Mexican club side, Club Nexaca, endured a poor period in the last decade under the previous owner Ernesto Tinajero who resolved to sell a percentage of the ownership to Tylis-Porter.
Tylis-Porter is a consortium that contains a lot of high-profile ex-footballers and celebrities who now own 50% of the club.
9. David Beckham – Inter Miami
While David Beckham is one of the soccer players who own a soccer club, he is also a celebrity in his right, and deserves to be on this list.
David Beckham joined the Major League Soccer (MLS) during the final years of his playing career to boost the image of MLS and continue its development.
Several years later, the Ex-England star invested in Inter Miami and increased his stake in the club in 2021, a year after the club debuted in the MLS.
Beckham still co-owns the club alongside Jorge and Jose Mas and finalized the buyout of Marcelo Claure and Masayoshi Son.
10. Ciara and Macklemore – Seattle Sounders
Seattle Sounders is partly owned by Russell Wilson and his Grammy Award-winning wife, Ciara.
Russell Wilson plays for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL) but was with Seattle Seahawks when he acquired part ownership of the Sounders.
Ciara is known for her musical career, but she’s not the only musician on the Seattle Sounders ownership roster, so also is hip hop artist Macklemore.
11. LeBron James and Drake — AC Milan
LeBron James and Drake became part owners of AC Milan, an Italian soccer team, through their investment in RedBird Capital Partners.
RedBird Capital Partners is a private equity group that led the acquisition of the team. Yankee Global Enterprises, the parent company of the New York Yankees baseball team, and a Los Angeles investment fund are also investing in AC Milan alongside RedBird.
The ownership group completed a €1.2 billion takeover of the team in August 2022.