People DailySports

English leagues attract staggering global scale of foreign ownership

London, Thursday @PeopleSports11

The Premier League is even more cosmopolitan with the arrival of promoted clubs Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham. That is because the men bankrolling the three new additions come from America, Malaysia and China.

Of the clubs relegated last season, West Brom and Swansea were foreign-owned but Stoke were under the control of local businessman Peter Coates.

That means the trend of increasing foreign ownership in the top flight continues, with British owners now accounting for only seven of the 20 Premier League clubs. Yet one of those, Crystal Palace, are only partly owned by Londoner Steve Parish, while another, Tottenham, have an English owner in Joe Lewis who is based in the Bahamas.

Modern-day football is awash with money from across the globe but, even below the top tier, buying a Championship club and leading it up into the Premier League represents a significant monetary opportunity.

The majority of the second tier is now also foreign-owned, notably by Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, who took control at Aston Villa in the summer (from China’s Dr Tony Xia), and Andrea Radrizzani, who has lured high-profile manager Marcelo Bielsa to Leeds United.

Our world map of where Premier League and Championship club owners are based shows the staggering scale of global ownership of England’s top clubs.

Fulham owner Shahid Khan is the most high-profile of the new additions to the Premier League owners’ club. A Pakistani-American billionaire, Khan found himself in headlines around the world earlier this year with his attempts to buy Wembley stadium.

Born in Lahore and now residing in Florida, Khan also owns NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars, but is in close contact with manager Slavisa Jokanovic over Fulham’s first Premier League season since 2013-14.

The same applies for Cardiff and their Malaysian owner Vincent Tan, whose personal wealth stands at £676million. Cardiff went down with Fulham in that same season but have been led back to the Premier League under the guidance of Neil Warnock.

Tan has had his fair share of tumultuous moments as owner of Cardiff. His rebranding of the club in 2013, including switching the home kit colour from blue to red, caused uproar among the club’s fanbase.

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