The world's Top 10 richest soccer team owners 2011:
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
10 Lakshmi Mittal
Net worth: $31.1 billion
Team: Queen's Park Rangers
The Indian-born U.K. resident runs ArceloMittal, the world's largest steel company, with sales of $65 billion during the past 12 months. Mittal, who bought 20% ownership in the Queen's Park Rangers in late 2007, was rumored to be looking to acquire the 54% stake of the team owned by former chairman and part-owner Flavio Briatore, who resigned from his post last febuary. Mittel may want to think twice about upping his ownership: Queen's Park has stumbled on the pitch amid a constant turnover of managers and has posted an operating loss each season since 2005.
9 Amancio Ortega
Net worth: $31 billion
Team: Deportivo De La Coruna
Ortega, the fashion kingpin who founded Spanish retail giant Inditex, is the world's ninth wealthiest person. His soccer team, known as Turcos for short, are also ranked ninth--in La Liga's 20-team Primera Division. With a following that's a fraction of the size of rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, club management recognizes the need for a new stadium to remain competitive. Team officials have reportedly met with Populous (formerly HOK Sport), a leading stadium construction company, to discuss a second remodeling of aging Riazor Stadium. Next step: convince wary La Coruna government officials.
8 Alisher Usmanov
Net worth: $17.7 billion
Usamov, who's made his fortune in steel, telecom and stocks since the fall of the Iron Curtain, has been mired in a three-year battle with American E. Stanley Kroenke (net worth $2.9 billion) for control of Arsenal. Kroneke appears to have emerged with the upper hand, at least for now, with 29.9% of shares of the team versus 26.3% for Usmanov. But don't count out Usmanov, who has earned the nickname of “Hard man of Russia” in business circles. Arsenal's team value dropped just 2% last year to $1.18 billion but was up in both pounds and euros.
7 Paul Allen
Net worth: $13 billion
Team: Seattle Sounders
After only one season, the Microsoft co-founder has already set the gold standard in Major League Soccer. His Seattle Sounders set a league attendance record, drawing close to 31,000 fans a game to Qwest Field, home of one of Allen's other pro sports teams, the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. The $30 million expansion fee already looks like a good investment. Allen's also making waves in his day job, where he recently launched software outfit Xiant, whose product Filer helps users keep track of e-mails in Microsoft's Outlook.
6 Roman Abramovich
Net worth: $13.4 billion
The Russian commodities magnate, who lost nearly half his fortune two years ago, rebounded last year due to rising steel prices. But things didn't go as well for his soccer club. Chelsea's $73 million operating loss topped professional sports. Despite success on the pitch (including two Premier League championships) since his arrival in the owner's suite, the Blues, as they're known in London, have hemorrhaged money and have a team value of just over half that of cross-town rival Arsenal.
5 Silvio Berlusconi
Net worth: $7.8 billion
Team: A.C. Milan
The Italian Prime Minister and media mogul had a tabloid-filled year, complete with allegations of corruption, sex scandals and an attack on a Milan street. At least he can take solace in his net worth rising 20% thanks in large part to investments in Mediaset and Banca Mediolanum. Not helping was his soccer club, which dropped in value 19% to $800 million. The good news: the Rossoneri are still the most valuable club in Italy and have star power in the form of David Beckham (on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy), Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato and World Cup winning striker Filippo Inzaghi.
4 Francois Pinault
Net worth: $11.5 billion
Team: Stade Rennais (Rennes)
The founder of luxury goods group PPR has a knack for building brands. Just look at Gucci and Balenciaga, two of the bevy of companies under PPR's control. But the same kind of name recognition hasn't translated to Rennes, which lags behind France's financial heavyweights on the pitch: Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Marseille. One bright spot has been the use of the club to promote sportswear company Puma, another one of his brands.
3 John Fredriksen
Net worth: $10.7 billion
This much is certain about John Fredriksen: the oil tanker and shipping tycoon loves soccer almost as much as he hates paying taxes. Fredriksen became a citizen of Cyprus in 2006 to avoid Norway's hefty taxes and now follows his Olso team mostly from afar. Fredriksen reportedly turned down a $200 million offer by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for his London mansion in 2006. A fan of English soccer, Fredriksen's name has long been floated as a potential buyer of a Premier League club.
2 Philip Anschutz
Net worth: $7.5 billion
Teams: Los Angeles Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Hammarby
In 2009 Anschutz's star-studded L.A. Galaxy lost the MLS title game on penalty kicks. Had the club won, it would have been awarded the aptly named the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy. After all, few have done more than Anschutz, who once owned five MLS teams at the same time, to grow the game's professional ranks in the U.S. His soccer holdings have been trimmed in recent years to L.A., 50% of Houston and 49% of Swedish Club Hammaraby. His venture into women's soccer, the L.A. Sol, folded earlier this year.
1 Bernard Ecclestone
Net worth: $4.2 billion
Team: Queen's Park Rangers
Ecclestone, the president and chief executive of Formula One, has seemingly had to weather one media firestorm after another in recent years, including allegations of sexism, anti-Semitism and most recently an attempted auto race-fixing scandal. Still, he averted catastrophe last year by avoiding a split in Formula One after prominent teams like Ferrari threatened to start their own circuit. Ecclestone's fortune grew 8% last year, while his soccer club finished 11th in the 24-team Football League Championship, England's second-tier of competition.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!