The announcement of the European Super League has cast a big light on the owners and chairmen of top football clubs.
With the European Super League facing immense criticism from fans and critics alike, it looks likely that the clubs involved will get richer, a fact that does not bode well for football.
Rich club owners have been scrutinised for splashing the cash for some time, but the dam broke yesterday. Fans have directed their fury at the owners of top clubs, with the football landscape changing overnight.
With all this in mind, we take a look at the 5 richest club owners in the world right now.
#5 Roman Abramovich (Chelsea) – $12.5 billion
Roman Abramovich’s takeover at Chelsea in 2003 saw the London club become one of the most famous names in world football.
An ambitious figure thirsty for immediate success, Abramovich wasted little time in leaving his imprint at Chelsea. He appointed Jose Mourinho in 2004 as the club’s manager, ushering in an era of domestic success. Under Abramovich’s ownership, the Blues have won 16 trophies, including five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy.
While criticism has been aimed at the Chelsea board for constantly sacking managers, the trophies speak for themselves.
Abramovich hasn’t shirked away from splurging money on players as well, and the Blues even spent in excess of £200 million last summer.
#4 Dietmar Hopp (Hoffenheim) – $18.5 billion
Dietmar Hopp is not a popular figure among Bundesliga fans and has been criticised for his influence on Hoffenheim’s climb.
Hopp’s financial involvement in Hoffenheim began in 1990, and he has been key to the club’s rise from the Kreisliga to the Bundesliga. The club were one of the better sides in the Bundesliga under the management of Julian Nagelsmann, who left Hoffenheim in 2019 to take charge of RB Leipzig.
Hoffenheim has been termed a ‘plastic club’ by many Bundesliga fans, and Hopp has been on the receiving end of various insults and criticism as a result.
#3 Andrea Agnelli (Juventus) – $19.1 billion
One of the most important individuals in the planning of the controversial European Super League, Andrea Agnelli has helped Juventus become a feared side in Europe.Agnelli’s decision to appoint Antonio Conte as manager of Juventus in 2011 began the club’s dominance domestically. The Bianconeri have won nine consecutive Serie A titles, making some shrewd acquisitions and creating a world-class squad full of talented individuals.
However, Agnelli’s insistence on proceeding with the European Super League has been met with intense criticism. It remains to be seen what the next steps will be, as the football world has been shaken to its core in the last 24 hours.
#2 Dietrich Mateschitz (RB Leipzig / Red Bull Salzburg) – $26.9 billion
The Red Bull group of football clubs have become renowned for their talent-spotting ability, and backing them is Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz.Red Bull Salzburg have sold the likes of Erling Braut Haaland, Takumi Minamino and Dominik Szoboszlai in recent transfer windows, while RB Leipzig are one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. Players often traverse the Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig path, and Szoboszlai, Peter Gulacsi, Konrad Laimer and Dayot Upamecano have all done so.
RB Leipzig, like Hoffenheim, have come under criticism from Bundesliga fans for their quick rise, with financial backing from Mateschitz seen as a key reason.
#1 Sheikh Mansour (Manchester City) – $30 billion
Like Abramovich and Chelsea, Sheikh Mansour’s investment in Manchester City has transformed the club.
Sheikh Mansour acquired Manchester City in 2008 and started spending money almost immediately. There were a few stutters initially, but the Cityzens are now one of the best sides in Europe, managed by arguably the best manager in the world.The likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure were key players in establishing Manchester City as a Premier League force. The current side under Pep Guardiola were among the favourites to win the Champions League this season before the announcement of the European Super League.