The ownership of English Soccer clubs has become heavily dominated by American ownership. The major teams in England are owned by Americans who have seen the business of Soccer as a massive profit opportunity.
Americans now own 50% of current English Premier League Teams which include: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester United, and West Ham.
Owned by the Kronke Sports & Entertainment group led by Stan Kronke, the portfolio of the company includes ownership of teams such as: Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Rapids, and Arsenal.
The initial purchase of shares for Kronke’s group started in 2007. By 2011, the group had over 60% of shares, which then grew to over 90% by 2018. Arsenal is valued at a little over $2 billion as of last summer, but with a better current form that valuation should see an increase.
Led by John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group who owns the Boston Red Sox, in 2010 Liverpool was purchased for nearly $475 million. In that time, Liverpool has won its first Premier League title and has become a dominant force in European Soccer winning the Champions League trophy in 2019.
As of late, the Fenway Group is looking to sell Liverpool. The valuation of Liverpool is estimated to be $4.45 billion! Which would give a profit return of almost $4 billion to John Henry’s group.
The Glazer family who owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, started their initial purchase of Manchester United with a 3% stake in 2003. In 2005, they purchased full shares of the Red Devils for nearly $1.3 billion. In 2012, Manchester United was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and became one of the first sports teams to be publicly traded.
Currently, the Glazers are looking to sell the historic club. The team has a valuation of $4.6 billion.
After Russian owner Roman Abramovich was forced to sell Chelsea around this time last year, Todd Boehly purchased the club for $5.4 billion.The fee was a record for the sale of a Soccer team.
Boehly is an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and part owner of the Lakers. He has spent a massive amount of money recently to advance Chelsea’s squad depth. He allowed his club to spend over $350 million on new players in January alone.
How American Ownership Changed Soccer
Ownership of the big name English clubs by Americans has seen a dramatic change in the last 20 years. Owners are almost bringing an NFL like style of ownership to England and Europe.
This has changed the way that money is being spent on player wages and transfers thus advancing the financial power of the Premier League. The Premier league is the richest Soccer league in the world, outpacing its second closest competitor the Spanish La Liga. The EPL now has 10/20 of the most financial valuable teams in the world.