- The Premier League currently has 12 billionaire club owners including The Glazer Family, Roman Abramovich, and Stan Kroenke.
- Combined they are worth an astonishing $90.8 billion, according to Forbes.
- Private investment firms, sports brands, and royal inheritance are just some of the sources of money for the Premier League’s richest.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Russian entrepreneur Roman Abramovich kick-started a new wave of overseas billionaires buying Premier League soccer clubs when he purchased Chelsea FC from Ken Bates in 2003.
Ever since, the clubs in England’s top division have become attractive prospects for weathly investors, with businesspeople all over the world keen to help themselves to a slice of the Premier League pie.
We’ve also explained how each club owner made their fortunes.
Katharina Liebherr and Gao Jisheng of Southampton FC have been excluded from the list because Liebherr sold 80% of her shares in the club to Jisheng in 2017, and the Chinese businessman’s net worth is currently unclear having just lost control of his real-estate company, Lander Sports, according to the Financial Times.
Technicalities aside, here is the Premier League’s richest billionaires in ascending order.
12: Everton FC owner Farhad Moshiri — $1.9 billion
How he made his fortune: Trained as a chartered accountant at University College London, Moshiri and his business partner, Alisher Usmanov, hold shares in mining and steel manufacturing giant Metalloinvest, and Russian wireless operator Megafon.
Moshiri and Usmanov also used to hold 14.65% of the shares in Arsenal, before Moshiri sold his part to help fund his takeover of Everton.
Record signing: Gylfi Sigurdsson — $53.8 million (Swansea City, 2017).
11: Liverpool FC owner John Henry — $2.7 billion
How he made his fortune: After building a successful trading firm in the 1980s, Henry began to invest the money he had earned into sports teams.
Henry held shares in Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and the New York Yankees amongst others, before taking over Liverpool in October 2010. He is also the principal owner of baseball team Boston Red Sox.
Record signing: Virgil van Dijk — $92.2 million (Southampton, 2017).
9: Crystal Palace owner Joshua Harris — $3.5 billion
How he made his fortune: The son of an orthodontist, Harris got his teeth stuck into the world of investment banking in 1980s, before starting private equity powerhouse Apollo alongside Leon Black and Marc Rown in 1990.
As well as maintaining control of Apollo, Harris now owns shares in the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils. He owns an 18% of Crystal Palace, the same amount as both David Blitzer and Steve Parish.
Record signing: Christian Benteke — $34.0 million (Liverpool, 2016).
8: Manchester United owners the Glazer family — $4.7 billion
Age: 58 (Avram), 48 (Joel).
How he made his fortune: It was father Malcolm Glazer who masterminded the $1.47 billion takeover of Manchester United between 2003-2005, using the money he had earned in real estate, banking, and health care to gradually buy out United shareholders.
Since Malcolm’s death in 2014, his sons Avram and Joel Glazer have stepped up as co-chairmen.
Record signing: Paul Pogba — $114.3 million (Juventus, 2016)
7: Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis — $5 billion
How he made his fortune: Lewis’ initial wealth came from the hospitality industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s, before he made a fortune on the foreign exchange market alongside George Soros.
Nowadays, Lewis is the chairman of Tavistock Group — a private investment organization that have a portfolio containing oil companies, resort properties, restaurants and, of course, sports clubs.
Record signing: Tanguy Ndombele — $65.3 million (Olympic Lyonaiss, 2019).
6: Leicester city owners Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and family — $5.9 billion
How he made his fortune: Following the tragic death of his father Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash in October 2018, son Aiyawatt assumed control of his late father’s empire.
The 34-year-old is now the CEO and Chairman of duty free giant King Power, as well as the Chairman of both Leicester City and Belgian club OH Leuven.
Record signing: Youri Tielemens — $49.0 million (AS Monaco, 2019).
5: Aston Villa owner Nassef Sawiris — $6.4 billion
How he made his fortune: A scion of the wealthiest family in Egypt, Sawiris assumed the position of CEO at his father’s construction company, Orascom Construction, in 1998.
He has since split the company. One part remains as a construction company while the other, known as OCI, became one of the planet’s leading producers of nitrogen fertilizers. Sawiris is also the supervisory director of fashion giant Adidas.
Record signing: Wesley — $27.2 million (Club Brugge, 2019).
4: Wolverhampton Wanderers owner Guo Guangchang — $6.7 billion
How he made his fortune: Guo Guangchang is the founder and chairman of Fosun International, a Chinese international conglomerate and investment vehicle, whose portfolio covers everything from real estate to pharamecuticals.
Guangchang is well known for donating millions of dollars to charity, and he describes himself as the “Chinese Warren Buffet.”
Record signing: Raul Jimenez — $41.2 million (Benfica, 2019).
3: Arsenal FC owner Stan Kroenke — $8.7 billion
How he made his fortune: Kroenke married Walmart heiress Ann Walton in 1974, and shortly after founded a a real estate development firm that built most of it’s properties near Walmart stores.
In the late 1990s, Kroenke ventured into sports when he bought his first franchise, the Denver Nuggets, and he now owns the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids soccer team, and LA Rams, amongst others.
Record signing: Nicolas Pepe — $87.1 million (LOSC Lille, 2019).
2: Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich — $12.4 billion
How he made his fortune: Abramovich made most of his money in the oil and metals industry, with the Russian selling his 73% stake in Sifnet to oil giant Gazprom for $13 billion in 2005.
Today, he still owns stakes in steel giant Evraz and Norilsk Nickel, and he’s also owner of the world’s largest yacht, the 533-foot (and aptly titled) Eclipse.
Record signing: Kepa Arrizabalaga — $87.1 million (Athletic Bilbao, 2018).
1: Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour — $30 billion
How they made their fortune: Sheikh Mansour is a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, and he’s also the deputy prime minster of the United Arab Emirates.
But aside from the vast amount of money Mansour inherited, he also owns stakes in Virgin Galactic and Sky News Arabia, and is the owner of a number of soccer clubs across the world, including Melbourne City, New York City, and of course Manchester City.
Record signing: Kevin De Bruyne — $82.7 million (VfL Wolfsburg, 2015).