Minggu, 29 April 2012

Football Fat Cats are 1, 2 & 3

London football owners/investors fill the top three positions in The Sunday Times's Rich List for 2012, the annual parade of the wealthiest individuals living in Britain.

Lakshmi Mittal, part-owner of Queen's Park Rangers, remains Britain's richest man according to the survey, with an estimated wealth of £12.7 billion. Visitors to this summer's Olympic Games in London will see one example of his benevolence, the £19million  ArcelorMittal Orbit tower (right), a permanent sculpture overlooking the Olympic stadium and Britain's largest piece of public art.

Meanwhile QPR sit fourth from bottom equal on points with 18th-placed Bolton and in serious danger of relegation with only two games to play - at home against Stoke and away at title-chasing Manchester City.

Mittal owns a third of the club but delegates day-to-day involvement to his son-in-law Amit Bhatia.

QPR's recent woes were the subject of a riveting fly-on-the-wall documentary, "The Four Year Plan", transmitted on BBC2. The film showed now departed owners Flavio Briatore and Gianni Paladini stumbling their way through various managers as the club struggled to win promotion. On one occasion, Briatore memorably was filmed issuing instructions on whom to substitute during a match. the influx of big money has also brought confusion and insecurity: Rangers have changed their coach 14 times in the last six years.

The major shareholder in QPR is Malaysian Air Asia founder Tony Fernandes, who bought the 66% stake owned by Formula One men Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone last year.



Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born tycoon who owns just under 30% of Arsenal's shares, is second on the rich list, with £12.3 billion of assets, followed by the most famous of English soccer's megabucks owners, Chelsea's Roman Abramovich, with £9.5 billion.

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile


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