Factbox: Foreign ownership of Premier League clubs

(Reuters) – Factbox on foreign owners of Premier League soccer clubs.

ARSENAL

American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke agreed a takeover deal on Monday that valued the north London club at 731 million pounds ($1.20 billion).

Kroenke, who already owned close to 30 percent of the club, now controls 63 percent after reaching a deal to buy out shareholders Danny Fiszman and Nina Bracewell-Smith.

Kroenke, 63, was worth $2.9 billion in 2010 according to Forbes and already owns several U.S. sports teams, including the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, NFL team the St Louis Rams, and Major League Soccer team the Colorado Rapids.

ASTON VILLA

American billionaire Randy Lerner completed his takeover of Aston Villa in 2006 for 62.6 million pounds ($122.5 million) after securing the required 90 percent of the Birmingham club’s shares.

The Cleveland Browns owner installed himself as chairman of Villa, taking the place of Doug Ellis who stepped down after 38 years at the Midlands side.

BIRMINGHAM CITY

Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung’s Grandtop International Holdings finally completed its takeover of Birmingham City in 2009 after initially launching a bid two years previously.

BLACKBURN ROVERS

Indian poultry giant Venky’s completed a 23 million pound takeover of Blackburn Rovers in November, 2010.

They became the first Indian concern to own a Premier League club, and quickly stamped their mark on the club by sacking manager Sam Allardyce in December.

CHELSEA

In July 2003 Russian businessman Roman Abramovich agreed to buy the company that owned Chelsea in a deal which valued it at nearly 60 million pounds ($99.50 million).

Under the cash offer, Abramovich, through his English offer vehicle Chelsea Ltd, agreed to purchase 84.9 million Chelsea Village shares at 35 pence each, just over half of its entire issued share capital.

Abramovich has spent millions on the club since 2003 and has been rewarded with Chelsea winning Premier League titles and domestic cups.

FULHAM

In 1997 Egyptian-born businessman Mohamed Al Fayed, then owner of top London department store Harrods, invested 30 million pounds ($49 million) in Fulham and took over as chairman after agreeing to acquire a controlling stake.

With his financial backing Fulham repurchased the freehold to their historic Craven Cottage stadium on the banks of the river Thames in west London for an estimated 7.5 million pounds, while on the pitch they were promoted to the top-flight in 2001.

LIVERPOOL

The New England Sports Ventures, headed by American businessman John W Henry, completed a protracted and controversial 300 million pound ($480.8 million) takeover of Liverpool in October 2010.

Former American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett fought a lengthy court battle to prevent the takeover going through before eventually accepting defeat when a Dallas Court lifted a restraining order blocking the deal.

The new owners sacked manager Roy Hodgson in January and appointed former player and fans’ favorite Kenny Dalglish.

MANCHESTER CITY

An Abu Dhabi based consortium fronted by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan completed a takeover of Manchester City from Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra in September 2008.

The deal instantly transformed them into the richest club in the world and Sheikh Mansour has since spent more than 300 million pounds on big name signings.

MANCHESTER UNITED

In August 2005, supporters were unhappy with the American tycoon Malcolm Glazer’s 790 million pounds ($1.41 billion) takeover and used the first home game where his sons Joel, Avi and Bryan, all board members, were in attendance, to make their voices heard.

U.S. financier Malcolm Glazer said he had raised his stake in Manchester United to over 75 percent, finally gaining full control in May 2005 of the club he had battled to acquire for more than two years.

The club’s sale prompted some disenchanted fans to set up FC United of Manchester which plays in the minor leagues.

SUNDERLAND

American businessman Ellis Short assumed complete control of the club in May 2009, after initially becoming their largest shareholder in 2006.

Short, who made his fortune in private equity and hedge fund management, quickly made his mark at Sunderland, tempting manager Steve Bruce to Weirside from Wigan Athletic.

(Compiled by Toby Davis; editing by Martyn Herman)

Factbox: Foreign ownership of Premier League clubs