Foreigners dominate Football rich list

The influence of wealthy foreign investors within the rapidly changing face of football finance in Britain is further underlined with the publication of the Football Rich List Top 100.

Five of the top 10 wealthiest figures in British football are from overseas, while the current popularity of the national game is illustrated by the fact that investors with a combined value of over £11 billion have become involved over the past year.

The study, which has been carried out by FourFourTwo, also shows that half of those who make up the top 10 are newcomers to football.

The total value of this year's Top 100 is £41.7bn compared to £20.45bn in the first-ever Football Rich List four years ago.

The new figures follow Tuesdays Daily Telegraph report which revealed that the Premier League is now worth around £0.7b more than any other league in Europe.

Yet, although players will be paid more, the wealth of footballers is dwarfed by some of the people who own their clubs.

Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich is still way out in front on the list with an estimated value of £10.8bn.

The newcomers are headed by another Russian, Alisher Usmanov, whose personal fortune is said to be £2.76bn and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone who took over QPR with Renault team manager Flavio Briatore.

The other new entries are Mike Ashley at Newcastle United, Stan Kroenke at Arsenal and Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft, who bought 42 per cent of Watford.

Other high-profile new entries include Thaksin Shinawatra who has taken over Manchester City and is said to have a personal fortune of around £640 million.

David Beckham heads the players' list with an estimated fortune of £112m, well clear of Michael Owen on around £37m. Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Sol Campbell make up the rest of the top five, although only 14 players make the main list.

Beckham ranks 45th, while England captain John Terry just sneaks into the top 100 at 95th.

The only new entries among the players within the top 100 are Didier Drogba, whose worth is put at £14m, and Cristiano Ronaldo who is estimated at £12.25m.

"While their [the players] wages rise, their bank balances pale into insignificance compared to the men who pay them," said FourFourTwo editor Hugh Sleight.

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