Every football fan is familiar with player transfers as it is a regular occurrence and always in the news.
Although not as common as player transfers, there have been times when an entire club changes ownership. Football’s global appeal means that international business tycoons are often interested in the sport.
There have been some big moves over the years, from Todd Boehley’s acquisition of Chelsea to Newcastle’s purchase by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.
Takeovers and acquisitions in football are such a big deal that placing bets on the next owner of a club that is put up for sale is now a thing.
While regular pre-match and live betting remains the most basic and popular options on all bookies, markets on transfers and takeovers are now available on the very best betting apps in Nigeria.
In this piece, we will look at some of the most expensive football takeovers of all time, counting down to the most expensive.
5. AC Milan (£600m)
Before things eventually turned sour, AC Milan’s sale to Li Yonghong was widely hailed by the Rossoneri faithful. In 2016, the Chinese businessman paid £600m to secure a controlling stake in the Italian giants, earning them a place on the list.
However, the Euphoria of the acquisition was short-lived as in order to finalize the deal, Li was provided a loan by American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, which he defaulted on. As a result, he was removed as majority shareholder with Elliot Management taking over ownership of the club.
4. Arsenal (£731m)
In 2011, Stan Kroenke agreed a deal worth £731m to buy a controlling stake in Arsenal Football Club. The American businessman had first launched a bid for the club in 2007 but faced competition from Red and White Securities, owned by Russian Billionaire Alisha Usmanov and could only buy a 9.9% stake.
He continued to increase his holdings in the club and achieved full takeover by buying the shareholdings of Nina Bracewell-Smith and Danny Fiszman. He then made an offer for the rest of the club valued at £731m.
Kroenke’s ownership has been a controversial one with accusations of a lack of transfer and silverware. However, there has been some success in recent times with Arsenal winning the FA Cup in 2020 and putting up a title challenge in the 2022-23 Premier League season.
3. Manchester United (£800m)
The Glazer family’s purchase of Manchester United in 2005 stood as the most expensive takeover in history for many years. The Glazers paid £800m for the club and remain the owners to this day.
However, Like Kroenke at Arsenal, the Glazer family’s time at Manchester United has not been without incident. They are one of the most criticized owners in world football and are often the subject of protests from the fans.
While there has been success on the pitch, the Glazer family have been accused of financial mismanagement and lack of investment by fans of the club.
After 18 years at Manchester United, the Glazers finally put the club up for sale in 2022.
2. AC Milan (£1b)
AC Milan are making a second appearance on the list due to their sale to RedBird Capital Partners in 2022. The American investment firm paid a total of £1b to claim a majority stake in the club.
Prior to the arrival of RedBird Capital Partners, AC Milan had been under the management of Elliott Management. They had taken over the club after Li Yonghong failed to meet up with his loan repayment plans.
AC Milan have enjoyed some success in recent times, ending an 11 year wait for a Serie A title and once again becoming regulars in European football.
1. Chelsea (£4.25b)
Chelsea are the third English team on this list and sit comfortably at the top of the pile following their sale to Todd Boehley in 2022. The American businessman purchased the club for £4.25bn in 2022, alongside Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter Hansjorg Wyss.
The purchase came into effect after Chelsea were put up for sale following sanctions to former owner Roman Abramovich in the wake of the Ukrainian War. Boehley put together a consortium to facilitate the takeover of the club with the deal confirmed in May.
Boehley’s early days at Chelsea have been marked by heavy investment in the playing personnel. Several young and talented players have come through the door at Stamford Bridge and Blues fans will be hoping to enter another era of success like they enjoyed under Roman Abramovich.