The relationship between fans and owners in the Premier League has always been a suspicious one. At least, it is on the fans’ side with most supporters living in perpetual fear that the owners of their club are trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Of course, sometimes there is genuine cause for concern and at other times, fans can adopt an overly righteous attitude toward the goings-on at their club. In essence, fans expect owners to reinvest every penny they receive so that they can win trophies and beat their rivals. Needless to say, as soon as that doesn’t appear to be the case, a wave of criticism is directed at the owners who are accused of buying a club purely to further their own means.
The uncomfortable truth is that the Premier League is big business nowadays and the consortiums that pay eye-watering sums to take ownership of a club don’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts. That doesn’t mean that their tenure at a particular club won’t bring the best of times in the form of trophies won. But in general, they will be seeking some type of financial return. With this in mind, is there money to be made from buying a Premier League club?
Ellis gets the short end of the stick
It depends on who you ask is the quick answer. Take for instance Ellis Short, the former owner of Sunderland, and the tailspin he got himself into whilst in the North East of England. Ultimately, many have read that short lost his billionaire status owing to the financial woes the club went through following relegation from the Premier League and then the Championship. The American businessman was eventually able to sell the club in 2018 after a decade of owning it and it’s safe to say that the 61-year-old won’t be investing in football anytime soon after losing in the region of $250 million.
Sheikh Mansour gets it right
There are, however, also astonishing stories of success in terms of a club’s appreciation value. Indeed, Sheikh Mansour’s buyout of Manchester City is the best example after purchasing the club for $212 million in 2008. Since then, City have won six Premier League titles and a recent evaluation of the club has priced it at an astonishing $4bn. In many ways, you can say that not even Sheikh Mansour could have predicted just how lucrative his ownership would prove to be.
Granted, the member of the Abu Dhabi royal family had the vision and perhaps, more importantly, the funds to make it a reality, but to read reports that his investment became twenty times what he initially paid in the space of just twelve years is an outcome that, as mentioned, even he would have battled to predict.
Have football clubs helped subside an owner’s core business?
Something else of interest that eagle-eyed fans would have seen in the latest business news is that Mansour’s airline has been recording significant losses over the last few years. Revealingly, Etihad Airways posted a $476 million loss in 2021 which does in some respects, go to show how critical Man City’s success is to Mansour and not just a hobby on the sideline that he can afford to see lose money.
The good news is that more of this unprecedented success is forecast in the 2022/2023 season as City are priced at 4/6, as of the 26th of May, to win a hat-trick of Premier League trophies. You can read more here about the odds and see further proof that Mansour’s City are destined for another season of silverware under the inspired management of Pep Guardiola. Indeed, the Spaniard also deserves huge credit for his role in making City one of the richest sporting enterprises in the world courtesy of his groundbreaking coaching, and relentless desire to discover the latest in health and fitness in order to make sure that his team is physically superior to the opposition.
In addition to that and with the help of Mansour’s vast wealth, City have been able to invest in the most up-to-date technology to ensure that this team stays at the summit of English football. If they are able to carry on doing that for the next five years, then you can be certain that Manchester City’s value will be close to $10bn by the end of it. Ultimately, this is unequivocal proof that there is money to be made from buying a Premier League club.