A group of major football clubs shocked the world with plans for a breakaway league that could herald the sport's biggest shakeup in decades and make elite teams even wealthier.
Members of the ultra-rich behind franchises backing the so-called Super League stand to benefit if the plan comes to fruition. Teams including Arsenal and Manchester United would have permanent membership in the new system, removing uncertainty over the European Champions League — for which teams must qualify annually or risk losing broadcasting and sponsorship revenue.
The clubs would share an upfront payment of 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion), financed by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
However, wealthy owners backing clubs that aren't part of the Super League will miss out if the proposal goes ahead to establish a new elite tournament in Europe — which would funnel billions of dollars into the game's upper echelons after a year in which the Covid-19 pandemic battered revenue across the sport.
Here are some potential winners and losers among the ultra-wealthy if the proposed new league is created.
Glazer Family: Relatives of the late US property tycoon Malcolm Glazer have owned Manchester United Plc since completing a leveraged takeover in 2005. They listed the English club on the New York Stock Exchange seven years later, partly to pay off debts, making the Glazers one of the first owners to feel the benefits of the Super League plans. Manchester United's shares rose as much as 11% on Monday to the highest level since early November.
"The Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid," Manchester United Co-Chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement. The Glazer family also owns the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which won the Super Bowl earlier this year.
Stanley Kroenke: Owns all of Arsenal Football Club after taking it private three years ago in a deal that valued the English Premier League club at $2.3 billion. He also controls US. sports teams, including the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, through Denver-based Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. He's worth about $9.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
John Henry: The principal owner of Fenway Sports Group has put his money behind English club Liverpool — another of the teams that support the Super League — since 2010. The math whiz made a fortune as a pioneering trader of commodities futures and his group also owns the Boston Red Sox and NASCAR's Roush Fenway Racing.
Agnelli Family: Now led by John Elkann, the Italian dynasty behind car brands such as Fiat owns Juventus Football Club S.p.A., one of three Italian teams that back the new league. Shares in the Turin-based club — which counts superstar Cristiano Ronaldo among its players — rose 18%, the most since October 2013.
Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus, said the new league will help the sport over the long term, and provide "fans and amateur players a regular flow of headline fixtures that will feed their passion for the game."
Roman Abramovich: The Russian oligarch made his fortune selling state-owned assets acquired following the fall of the Soviet Union and bought English club Chelsea in 2003 for almost $200 million. His investment is now worth about $2 billion, according to Bloomberg's wealth index.
Idan Ofer: Israeli tycoon Ofer controls a minority stake in Atletico Madrid, one of the Spanish clubs to take part in plans for the new league alongside Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Zhang Jindong: The founder of Chinese appliance maker Suning Appliance Group Co. purchased a controlling stake in Inter Milan for $306 million in 2016. The Italian football club is among those planning to join the breakaway league.
Rocco Commisso: The founder and chief executive officer of the US cable television provider Mediacom bought a majority stake two years ago in ACF Fiorentina. The Italian club wasn't listed as a founding member of the proposed new league, which would have 15 permanent teams with another five able to qualify each year. Commisso — who is worth $8.8 billion according to the Bloomberg index — also controls the New York Cosmos football team.
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha: The 35-year-old CEO of the retail group King Power inherited ownership of English club Leicester City from his late father following a fatal helicopter crash in 2018. Leicester won the English Premier League for the first time in 2015-16 and currently rank third in the table for this season, higher than four rivals — Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur — who are founding members of the planned European competition.
Nassef Sawiris: Egypt's richest person bought a majority stake in English club Aston Villa three years ago through a group he controls with Fortress Investment Group co-founder Wes Edens. The pair bought the remaining shares in the club in 2019. Sawiris — who also owns a stake in Adidas AG — has a fortune worth $6.5 billion, according to the wealth index.
Josh Harris: The Apollo Global Management co-founder controls a minority stake in English football club Crystal Palace through Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a company set up with Blackstone Group Inc.'s David Blitzer that also owns stakes in the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
Dan Friedkin: The US. magnate bought a controlling stake in Italian side A.S. Roma in August 2020 through his Houston-based company the Friedkin Group. The club is currently seventh in Serie A, Italy's top football league, which is seeking to offload a stake in a company to manage its TV rights.
Peter Lim: The Singapore tycoon acquired a controlling stake in the Spanish club Valencia CF in 2014. The team currently sits in 14th position in La Liga, Spain's top football league.
Disclaimer: This article first appeared on Bloomberg, and is published by special syndication arrangement