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Rating the popularity of each top six Premier League clubs owners

Premier League owners have the power to make or break the dreams of football fans, taking control of clubs who are institutions of their local communities.

Investment is often crucial to ensuring a club remains heading in the right direction and winning the approval of the fanbase has proven difficult for some of the Premier League’s people in power.

Payset recently conducted a study which considered the positives and negatives of Premier League owners, taking into account the duration of ownership, growth of the club’s value, investment, and spend per league win.

 

Each of those ought to be considered when discussing the Premier League’s most popular owners and we’ve decided to rate the ownership of each of the division’s ‘top six’.

Arsenal – The Kroenke family

Stan Kroenke has endured a turbulent time in charge of Arsenal, with fans having long voiced their anger towards the American following a period of decline.

As recently as April 2021, thousands of fans gathered outside the Emirates in protest with calls for Kroenke and his family to step aside in response to their club’s attempt to enter the failed European Super League.

The Gunners are without a league title since 2004 and have failed to secure Champions League football since the 2016/17 season. Have competed in Europe’s elite competition for 19 straight seasons before their recent exile, it has been a period of decline difficult to accept in north London.

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After a long period of frustration there is reason for optimism at Arsenal however, with the Gunners top of the early Premier League table after five wins from six. The club’s faith in Mikel Arteta despite a rocky road last season has been both rewarded and appreciated, while Arsenal have invested more than £100m in consecutive summer transfer windows.

Arsenal appear on the up and for the first time in a long time have a clear project. Whether that’s enough to truly soften the stance against Kroenke remains to be seen.

Rating: 4/10

Chelsea – Todd Boehly

The newest of the top six owners, a consortium fronted by Todd Boehly took over Chelsea earlier this year to end Roman Abramovich’s reign in west London.

Abramovich’s popularity at Chelsea was unquestioned after saving the cash-strapped Blues and transforming the club into one of Europe’s most successful sides.

Boehly has been quick to splash the cash in his first summer in power, with Chelsea’s £251.9m spend a Premier League-leading total, one that has brought in the likes of Raheem Sterling, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella.

The jury remains out on the American however, who has alienated sections of English football following his suggestions for a more Americanised approach in the Premier League. A suggested All-Star game has received mixed reviews, while comments on Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah coming through the Chelsea academy prove there is plenty left for the new ownership to learn…

Rating: N/A – Too soon for verdict

Liverpool – Fenway Sports Group

Is there unrest building at Liverpool?

John W. Henry and FSG have overseen Liverpool’s most successful period since the eighties and the club are in a much stronger position than the mess inherited. However, there is a sense that some of the Reds’ success has been in spite of – and not because of – the American ownership.

Investments have been made with then-world record purchases for a defender and goalkeeper in Virgil van Dijk and Alisson in 2018, but Liverpool’s spending has been comparatively modest to their Premier League rivals.

According to figures from transfermarkt.com, since Jurgen Klopp’s first summer in charge, Liverpool rank sixth in the Premier League for money spent, behind the remainder of the ‘big six’. In terms of net spend, the Reds are 11th in the division behind clubs including West Ham, Aston Villa, Wolves, Newcastle and Everton.

After a summer net spend of just £8.64m, Liverpool have begun the season poorly and there is frustration from some sections that the club have not capitalised entirely on the Klopp era. Throw in the anger from the European Super League and criticism over furlough during the Covid-19 pandemic and FSG could find themselves under increasing heat in the near future.

Rating: 5/10

Manchester City – Sheik Mansour

Sheik Mansour’s decision to purchase Manchester City represented the lottery being won on the blue half of Manchester, a move which catapulted the club into the financial elite and out of the shadow of their dominant cross-town rivals.

For two decades City watched on as Manchester United racked up title after title, but the once noisy neighbours are now the city’s dominant force when it comes to silverware success.

City’s spending ruffled the feathers of England’s established elite and turned the club into arguably Europe’s finest footballing outfit. City have won five league titles among their 13 major trophies under Mansour’s regime, including four of the last five Premier League crowns.

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The club’s spending has not been entirely focused towards Premier League success however, with huge investment and regeneration of the local area and the creation of a world-class training centre used by the EDS and women’s team.

Boasting arguably the best manager and team in the game right now, City are set up for sustained success.

Rating: 9/10

Manchester United – The Glazer family

Is there a more hated ownership in football?

United’s protests against the Glazer family came immediately after their controversial takeover in 2005, a leveraged deal which saddled the Red Devils with huge debt. United – then the Premier League’s dominant force after winning eight Premier League titles since the 1992/93 campaign – had previously been debt free since the 1930s.

The Glazer’s loan to purchase the club saddled United with an immediate debt of around £660m and the club’s income has since been used to pay off interest on that debt and increase the pockets of the American owners.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial gifts papered over the cracks during an initial eight-year period, but the post-Fergie era has been a period of mismanagement, decline and decay. It is estimated the Glazers have taken £1.6bn from United, who are without a Premier League title since Ferguson’s final season in 2013.

Rating: 1/10

Tottenham – Joe Lewis and Daniel Levy

As with each of the ‘big six’, the role of Daniel Levy in the European Super League proposals damaged his reputation among the Spurs supporters.

Spurs have hovered around the big six without truly challenging for major trophies and there is a desire from the fanbase to push on and compete with the Premier League’s best.

The appointment of Antonio Conte has proven a wise one thus far, while the Italian was backed in the summer transfer window with a wealth of new additions after guiding Spurs back into the Champions League.

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Spurs remain a distance behind the likes of Manchester City, but now boast the best stadium in world football and world-class training facilities, giving the north Londoners the infrastructure to attract and keep top talent.

Rating: 6.5/10

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