When it comes to football, most of us will spend our time thinking of the best players, the huge transfers and the latest results. However, one area that often get's overlooked is the owners of football clubs, and whether it’s actually a good investment.
Most people you ask will mention owners such as Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich as someone who has extremely successful, the same with Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour.
In general though - are football clubs actually good investments? Or are they just a play thing for the filthy rich?
First of all it’s highly likely that anyone who buys a football club won’t be walking away with much in terms of profit when they leave. When people invest in clubs, they usually have lofty ambitions and this means investing further amounts of their own wealth, usually on transfers, wages and generally building the club. In fact, football fans would be very familiar with the level of spending and transfer deals that have done, especially if one visits sports news and blog sites like betting.com.
This applies to clubs both at the top of the footballing pyramid and those lower down it too. While owning a Premier League club for example, means that you get more in terms of income from television rights, it’s a league where the outgoings are always bigger too. Huge amounts of cash are spent trying to establish a club in England’s top flight alone and even more if an investor is looking to move the club forward in order to compete.
In 2003 when Roman Abramovich arrived at Chelsea, it was clear his intent was to rapidly accelerate the growth of the club in order to make them the powerhouse of English football. However, with the rules now imposed by the footballing authorities, owners can’t just spend huge amounts willy nilly; and this has impacted football clubs as an investment opportunity. Things must be done with more caution and this means that getting the club to where you want it to be as an investor will probably take longer.
You could say that football clubs are a good investment if you have a clear plan that will come to fruition and then get out as soon as the money has been made. The longer you own a club, unless you enjoy repeated success, you’re likely to lose more than you invested originally, especially if things don’t go as planned on the pitch.
Investing in a club you support too can come with potential pitfalls. You’re much more likely to go with your heart over your head when it comes to investing in a club that you support, which could mean you would deviate from any well thought out strategies.
So it's clear that owning a football club is not necessarily the best investment. Nowadays, it seems that it has become the pastime of the wealthy, and/or those lucky enough to be able to afford to make their dream come true and own the football club they grew up supporting.