We maintain a list of football club owners.

Our hobby is to search for every football club worldwide. We like to know who the owner is, their ownership percentage, their net worth, buying price and buying date and last but not least their source of wealth.

We now have more than 2,500 records about football club owners and our register is still growing. Our aim is to collect all ownership data of football clubs.

See the Football Club Owners Register with a overview of all public ownership info.

Photo by Tevarak Phanduang on Unsplash
Photo by Tevarak Phanduang on Unsplash

The latest reaction from a customer about the Football Club Owners Register!

Thanks – great register by the way!

Thomas located in Austria

This saves a lot of time of researching.

John located in New York, USA

As a fan of Arsenal it is interesting to see who the owners are.

Louis located in United Kingdom

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Transformation of football clubs

Behind the scenes a silent revolution is underway. One after the other club falls into the hands of private investors. Paid football is in transformation. We did a tour of clubs in the main divisions and gauged the attitude about investors. One of our conclusions: “It’s going even faster than I thought.”

We visited a club in The Netherlands. The FC was suddenly open for a takeover. The local director, who until recently was a fanatic opponent of club owners, saw competition with outboard engines in recent years. Clubs such as AZ, Vitesse, FC Utrecht and ADO Den Haag tackled financial doping by selling the club shares to investors. The Eredivisie, for example, changed into an old-fashioned Tour de France where two speeds were driven. Without doping, the competition drives you off the wheel. In Arnhem, the spectators ran away and the income dropped, but a Russian carelessly added 140 million euros. Last summer, the competitor casually picked another player. The FC is sinking further and further.

In the dutch main divisions 17 of the 34 clubs have already been sold to investors in part or even completely

“How can we still compete like this?” the local director wondered aloud. “It would be irresponsible not to think about it.” A view that appears to live on many more terraces. Not only the people from the FC are gone. Throughout professional football, the critical attitude towards club owners disappears like snow in the sun. Five years ago we surveyed the boardrooms. Roman Abramovich had meanwhile bought three league titles and a Champions League cup for Chelsea. The Dutch clubs were not impressed and a majority, under the guise of being a boss in their own home, did not want to work with millionaires and billionaires. That image is completely tilted. After research in the main divisions, it appears that 17 of the 34 clubs have already been sold in part or even completely to investors.

As a result, half of the national football clubs no longer all own the shares. Even the oldest of all, tradition association Sparta from 1888, sold part, while cult clubs such as Telstar and FC Oss are already completely in private hands. In addition, a large group of clubs is on display. Only 7 of the 34 clubs (21 percent) say no to investors.

Photo by Timothy Tan on Unsplash
Photo by Timothy Tan on Unsplash

For the most striking envoy from the greatly reduced no-camp, we settle down at the Philips Stadium with list leader Philips Sport Vereniging. One of the first Dutch clubs with a substantial lender. But in 2018 the list leader owns all shares. An Asian company that wanted to buy shares after the departure of Philips as the main sponsor received zero in the bill. “Boss in-house and we will stay that way,” says club director, who is curious about the results of our research.

For a million you are already a long way in the dutch main division. For less than ten million you have a sub-topper from the main division. Including a license, because the Dutch Football Association rarely makes a fuss. Soon there will also be a press release about the fantastic plans in the capital of Brabant. Is it not with foreign investors, or with Dutch ones? The papers are already at the notary, as you can read later.

Behind the scenes a silent revolution is underway. In Venlo, club chairman even predicts that “all clubs will be in private hands within five years.” Now that the TV contracts are currently unstoppable and public interest in many stadiums is declining, the clubs are looking for external money. They no longer have to go to banks and municipalities. They are now ready with the men who came to ask for money in their Jaguars. A share sale is then the only way to raise new capital.

Photo by Reinhart Julian on Unsplash
Photo by Reinhart Julian on Unsplash

Silver-colored Lamborghini

Anyone who screens with a bag of money is currently welcome in the sky boxes. Take Roda JC against Ajax, just another match. A banner with #freekorotaev hangs on the gates. Millionaire and lord Salar Azimi sit on the terrace in front of the glass skybox in animated conversation with the current owner of Roda JC. Perhaps you remember him as the man who parked a silver-colored Lamborghini worth half a million euros in Breda and promised the football players a barrel as a promotional premium.

The somewhat flamboyant lord Salar Azimi who promised the players of NAC Breda a barrel as a promotional premium.

A scene that fitted in perfectly with the ever-increasing stack of reports about, as FIFA called it, “people throwing pornographic amounts of money into football out of the blue”. In 2017, after research, UEFA signaled that more and more European clubs are being purchased. The Netherlands is also participating in the big sale. Eleven clubs have already been fully taken over. By trading more than 51 percent of the shares, they have handed over all control. Another six clubs auctioned a minority interest. In all this, it is fair to say that in the Netherlands it mainly concerns wealthy men from their own region. But often it is the first step to a foreign takeover. In Arnhem, The Hague and Kerkrade, it started with Quote 500 tycoons from the region, which later sold their shares to foreign investors.

Only 7 of the 34 clubs (21 percent) say no to investors

There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the origin of the money and the antecedents of the owners are verifiable and clear. According to UEFA, and also a body such as Europol, this is quite often lacking in football, resulting in increased risks of abuse and money laundering. The Dutch Football Association says it has been working on it for years. Since the entrance of the first Russian and Chinese investors, working groups and committees have been meeting about the future of the owner model. But the calf has already drowned. Because just like with the artificial grass players, there is no turning back. In the meantime there is too large a group of clubs partly or entirely in the hands of third parties. That makes a model like in Germany, where the regulations stipulate that a club may not sell more than 49 percent of the shares, meanwhile impossible.
Training sessions for national administrations to develop implementation strategies for the Recommendation ‘Investing in children – breaking the cycle of disadvantage’