LeBron James is earning a $19 million salary this year with the Miami Heat. His Liverpool co-owner John Henry has several sports investments including the Boston Red Sox and NESN. Yet even with a net worth of $185 million, LeBron doesn’t make this list. Neither does Henry, who’s worth a whopping $1.4 billion.
Aston Villa’s owner Randy Lerner, worth $2.5 billion, just narrowly misses the cut. Just the second American ever to own a Premier League club, Lerner first purchased his part of Villa back in 2006 after debating between it, Arsenal and Fulham. It cost him over $100 million. The entrepreneur also previously owned the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. (Lerner sold the Browns, who’d had only two winning seasons under his reign, for over $1 billion.)
When it comes to the richest EPL owners, these guys are all sizeable billionaires. Since not all of these clubs are money-makers, these owners are clearly invested in them for the love of the game. Here’s a look at who does make the list of the Premiership’s top 10 richest owners, how they made their fortunes and where they are spending their money.
10. Mike Ashley – Newcastle United – Net Worth: $2.8 Billion
Owner of British retail store, Sports Direct, Mike Ashley surprised the public when he purchased a part of Newcastle. He originally paid over $91 million for an ownership stake. However, he upped his purchase from approximately 41% to become the sole owner, which set him back another $131 million.
As the club’s owner, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride. A BBC documentary exposed that Ashley was unaware of just how much debt he was acquiring with the club. Ashley’s attempted to sell a couple of times, but wasn’t able to find a suitable buyer. And while fans may have enjoyed his presence in the stands during games, league execs were less than impressed. That’s not to mention controversy from some of his on-field decisions as well.
This businessman doesn’t rely on the club for his fortune. Lucky for him, he’s seeing huge profits as of this January, around 14.6% ($465 million), from his retail chain.
Billionaire Fact: Ashley once played a game of spoof (a gambling and drinking game) to resolve a $335,000 bill – he didn’t win.