The Glazer family’s sale of Manchester United is expected to be the biggest in football history – posing the question, what are football’s ten biggest takeovers?
Top 10 Biggest Takeovers In Football History
10: PSG (Qatar Sports Investment Group) – £100 million
In the summer of 2012, the Qatar Sports Investment Group bought Paris Saint-Germain with the vision of transforming the club into football’s biggest superpower.
QSI pledged to form a team capable of winning the Champions League (still waiting) and have spent over $1.3 billion on player transfers.
PSG now have the fifth-highest revenue in football at $654m and are the world’s seventh-most valuable football club at $3.2 billion.
9: Newcastle United (Mike Ashley) – £134 million
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley paid £134 million to acquire Newcastle United in the summer of 2007.
The businessman’s relationship with Magpies supporters quickly turned sour and the club was put up for sale just over a year later. Newcastle were relegated to the Championship twice under Ashley’s ownership.
Newcastle were sold by Ashley in a deal that features further down our list.
8: Chelsea (Roman Abramovich) – £140 million
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea for £140 million in 2003 and sparked a revolution at the west London club.
The former governor of Chukotka led the Blues to five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues and two Europa League triumphs.
Known for his quick temper and tendency to hire and fire managers, Abramovich sold Chelsea in 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shed a strong spotlight on the source of his wealth and his assets were frozen.
7: Fulham (Shahid Khan) – £200 million
Shahid Khan paid £200 million to acquire Fulham in 2013 and is familiar to the ownership scene, having bought NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars in January 2012.
Fulham have been relegated three times and promoted three times since Khan’s takeover and are currently fighting for a spot in Europe next season.
6: Manchester City (Sheikh Mansour) – £210 million
Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi United Group bought Manchester City for £210 million on transfer deadline day in 2008 and immediately bought Robinho from Real Madrid.
Since 2010, City have won 17 major trophies and are searching for a third consecutive Premier League title under Pep Guardiola this season but the Champions League continues to elude the Citizens – will their fortune change this year?
5: Liverpool (Fenway Sports Group) – £300 million
Fenway Sports Group, owners of MLB’s Boston Red Sox and NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, purchased Liverpool for £300 million in October 2010.
Despite a bumpy start to life under new ownership, Liverpool found their footing in 2019 by winning the Champions League and later the Premier League in 2020, ending a 30-year drought.
FSG have since listed Liverpool for sale and are open to letting go of the club.
4: Newcastle United (PIF) – £300 million
The Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund bought Newcastle United from Mike Ashley in October 2021 and the Magpies have since enjoyed a resurgence as a prominent name in the Premier League once again.
Newcastle immediately appointed Eddie Howe and the club are now fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League competition.
3: Arsenal (Stan Kroenke) – £731 million
American investor Stan Kroenke bought a 9.9% stake in Arsenal in April 2007 and he has increased his shares in the club ever since, now totalling 90% as of August 2018.
Kroenke’s shares are valued at almost £2 billion and the Gunners are currently flying high at the top of the Premier League and ever closer to a first league title in almost two decades.
2: Manchester United (Glazers) – £790 million
In 2003, the late Malcolm Glazer purchased a 3.17% stake in Manchester United and gradually bought out shareholders over the next two years before a complete takeover in 2005.
Following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Glazer family have become arguably the most scrutinised owners in sport and been criticised for the underdevelopment of Old Trafford and Carrington training facility.
Manchester United are currently up for sale as Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe continue the bidding war to buy the Red Devils.
1: Chelsea (Todd Boehly) – £4.25 billion
The most expensive takeover in football history is American businessman and investor Todd Boehly’s purchase of Chelsea for £4.25 billion in 2021.
Since his arrival in west London, Boehly has authorised the purchase of over £500 million worth of transfers and came under fire for his decision to sack Thomas Tuchel and hire Graham Potter.
Chelsea are underperforming in the league but still remain in Europe with a chance at winning the Champions League.