Today Newcastle United has become one of the richest clubs in the Premier League.
Effectively taken over by the Saudi Arabian state, the £300m deal is being welcomed by fans after Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign resulted in a lack of investment and success for the club.
The takeover has gone ahead despite concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, with the League satisfied its “Public Investment Fund” is separate from the government.
Here Sky News looks at who owns all 20 clubs in the Premier League – and how controversial they are with fans.
Chelsea – Roman Abramovich
Abramovich, 54, has an estimated net worth of $14.5bn (£10.66bn).
The Russian-Israeli businessman and former politician is the biggest philanthropist in recent Russian history, but has been branded an oligarch by his critics.
He bought Chelsea in 2003, which has seen the club win 18 major trophies since.
Abramovich is blamed by many for starting a trend of billionaires buying football clubs in a bid to win trophies.
He was heavily criticised for his involvement in the now-shelved European Super League.
Liverpool – John W Henry and Tom Werner
American businessmen Henry and Werner are part of the Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox.
They took over Liverpool at the end of 2010 from fellow Americans Tom Hicks and George N Gillett Jr.
Hicks and Gillett Jr had become hugely unpopular among fans, mainly for failing to build a new stadium, get rid of the club’s debt and accusations they mistreated senior staff.
The previous owners tried to sue, but the case was soon dropped.
Liverpool won their first league title in 20 years by winning the Premier League in 2019-20.
Manchester City – Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan
Bin Zayed al Nahyan, commonly referred to as Sheikh Mansour, is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
He is worth an estimated $22bn (£16.2bn) and his ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group saw him acquire Manchester City in 2008.
It has seen the club win five major titles for the first time since 1968.
He owns a number of other football clubs and his takeover of Manchester City has been described as an attempt by the UAE at “sportswashing” – gaining political influence over foreign policy through sport.
Manchester United – Glazer family
After fending off a takeover bid by Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB group in 1998, the American Glazer family, who own the Tampa Bay Bucaneers in the US, bought shares in United in 2003.
By 2005, their holding company Red Football had a 98% share.
The takeover was financed overwhelmingly by loans, plunging the club into debt and causing outrage among fans.
Supporters formed a Love United Hate Glazer group after the takeover, with LUHG chanted at matches.
United have not won the Premier League since 2013 and have underperformed in recent years, with the Glazers facing further criticism for their bid to form a European Super League this year.
Tottenham Hotspur – Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy
Lewis, 84, has an estimated net worth of £4.33bn and is the main investor in the Tavistock Group, which owns 200 companies in 15 countries.
Levy has been chairman and co-owner of Tottenham since 2001, which makes him the longest-serving chairman in the Premier League.
He tried to buy shares in the club twice, from former owner Alan Sugar, but both bids were unsuccessful until he joined the board.
Both men have a share in the holding company, ENIC International, which is an investment company based in the Bahamas, which in turn owns 80% of Spurs.
Arsenal – Stan Kroenke
Kroenke, 74, has an estimated net worth of $8.2bn (£6.03bn) and has had shares in Arsenal since 2007.
The American billionaire is married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton and has his own real estate group, which has developed apartment blocks and shopping centres around Walmart supermarkets.
He increased his shares in Arsenal to more than 90% in August 2018 in a £600m deal.
Kroenke, a Republican, owns Arsenal WFC as well as numerous American football and basketball teams.
He has faced controversy in America for relocating the St Louis Rams from Missouri to Los Angeles, as well as his involvement in the now-shelved European Super League.
Everton – Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright
Moshiri, 66, is a British-Iranian billionaire based in Monaco, and chairman of a Russian company that specialises in metals, mining and telecoms.
Moshiri used to have shares in Arsenal, but sold them in 2016 to launch a takeover bid at Everton.
He holds a 77% share, while chairman and West End theatre producer Bill Kenwright, born and bred in Liverpool, has a small stake.
Kenwright has been on the board at Everton since 1989.
Wolverhampton Wonderers – Fosun International
Chinese holding company Fosun International bought Wolves in July 2016 from previous owner Steve Morgan for around £45m.
Headquartered in Shanghai and Hong Kong, they have a presence in 16 countries and are estimated to be worth around $9.14bn (£6.72bn).
Since the Fosun takeover, Wolves have performed considerably well, finishing seventh in the Premier League and qualifying for the Europa League.
Leicester City – Srivaddhanaprabha family
Thai billionaire businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester in 2010 and was heavily involved in the club as chairman.
In July 2011, Leicester’s stadium was renamed the King Power stadium, after Vichai’s duty free business empire.
When Leicester won the 2015-16 Premier League from 5,000/1 odds at the beginning of the season, the owner gifted 19 players £100,000 BMWs.
He died in a helicopter crash as the aircraft left the stadium for Luton Airport in October 2018 and was succeeded by his son.
Players laid flowers at the stadium the day after the crash and his funeral lasted for eight days.
Brighton and Hove Albion – Tony Bloom
Bloom, 51, is a professional poker player and sports bettor with a long association with Brighton.
His grandfather was a vice chairman in the 1970s, while his uncle still sits as a director.
He has been chairman of the club since 2009 and oversaw their promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 34 years during the 2016-17 season.
Bloom has regularly seen the club through financial difficulties and invested £93m in its new Falmer Stadium.
Brentford – Matthew Benham
Benham, 52, is a lifelong Brentford fan and watched his first game at the age of 11. He also owns Danish club FC Midtjylland.
Unbeknownst to fans, as a “mystery investor” he propped up the club in 2007 when it became the first professional team in London to be owned by its fans.
The millionaire made his money in online gambling with the two firms Smartodds and Matchbook.
His full takeover has seen Brentford promoted to the Premier League in the 2020-21 playoffs and a string of encouraging results – including a 3-3 draw with Liverpool and 2-1 win over West Ham.
West Ham United – David Sullivan, David Gold and Albert Smith
Sullivan owned newspapers the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport until 2007 when he sold them for £40m.
According to The Sunday Times rich list he has a net worth of £1.2bn.
Along with his business partner and fellow West Ham owner Gold, he worked in the porn industry for several decades.
Gold owns lingerie companies Ann Summers and Knickerbox and used to be chairman of Birmingham City FC until his involvement in West Ham.
American businessman Albert Smith owns the remaining 10% share of the club.
Aston Villa – Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens
Sawiris, 60, is an Egyptian businessman with an estimated net worth of $9.2bn (£6.76bn).
Wes Edens, 59, is an American private equity investor, who also owns the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team in the US.
Together they took over Aston Villa from previous owner and chairman Tony Xia in July 2018.
They made a number of big changes, including a new manager, chief executive and sporting director, on top of several player signings.
It saw Villa achieve their longest winning streak in the 2018-19 season and them re-promoted to the Premier League.
Crystal Palace – Steve Parish, Joshua Harris and David S Blitzer
Parish, 56, led the 2010 bid to save Crystal Palace from liquidation, buying the club in a £3.5m deal from Lloyds Bank.
He has been the chairman and co-owner since, investing in various aspects of the club.
Parish made his money in computer graphic design and was once earmarked to appear as a dragon on Dragons’ Den.
American investors Harris and Blitzer each own an 18% share – alongside American hockey team the New Jersey Devils.
Watford – Gino Pozzo
Pozzo, 55, is an Italian multi-millionaire businessman, who bought Watford alongside his father from previous owner Laurence Bassini in June 2012.
Although he has very little contact with the players, he is often seen at Watford’s training ground and studies analytics of the players’ performance.
In recent years, Watford have had some promising results, reaching the FA Cup Final in 2019 and being promoted back to the Premier League last season having been relegated the one before.
Leeds United – Andrea Radrizanni, 49ers Enterprises
Radrizanni, 47, is an Italian billionaire businessman who also owns a sports broadcasting company called Eleven Sports.
His arrival at Leeds in 2017 was met with a shock resignation from head coach Gary Monk.
He has been embroiled in a number of disputes with fans, including one over a potential new badge for the club, which was later shelved.
In 2018, 49ers Enterprises, which is the business part of American football team the San Francisco 49ers, bought a share in Leeds.
Southampton – Gao Jisheng
Chinese businessman Jisheng has an estimated net worth of around $4bn (£2.49bn) and a share of 80% in Southampton.
Katharina Liebherr still owns a stake, having inherited the club from her father when he bought it to save it from financial ruin in 2010.
Jisheng bought a majority share in Southampton in 2017, but remained living in China, leaving his daughter and chief executive Martin Semmens to run the club.
He was reported to be looking to end his association with the club, but plans for any buyout have been interrupted by COVID.
Burnley – ALK Capital
Burnley is owned by an American sports consortium called ALK Capital, which has an 84% share of the club.
It is headed up by former Wall Street executive and sports investor Alan Pace.
ALK are currently offering fans a chance to relinquish their 6% share in the club.
Newcastle United – Public Investment Fund
Newcastle has just been bought by an arm of the Saudi Arabian government.
The £300m deal has been funded by the country’s Public Investment Fund, which is seen as separate to the state, finally allowing the bid to go through.
Newcastle fans have welcomed the takeover, after 14 years under Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley brought a lack of investment, passion and success for the club.
Norwich City – Delia Smith, Michael Wynn-Jones and Michael Fougler
TV cook Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones were invited to invest in Norwich City during financial difficulties in 1996.
The couple own a 53% share, with Smith running catering at the club until her 70th birthday in 2011.
She made headlines in 2005 during a match against Manchester City – as Norwich faced relegation – when she took the announcer’s microphone and shouted “let’s be ‘avin’ you”, later denying she was drunk.
The remaining shares are owned by Fougler, the managing director of a Norfolk-based poultry firm with a £100m annual turnover.
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