English Football Club Attracts Arab Buyer; One by One, England's Most Famous Soccer Clubs Are Being Bought by Foreign Owners and Now an Abu Dhabi Investment Group Has Entered the Fray

By Seymour, Richard | The Middle East, March 2009 | Go to article overview

English Football Club Attracts Arab Buyer; One by One, England's Most Famous Soccer Clubs Are Being Bought by Foreign Owners and Now an Abu Dhabi Investment Group Has Entered the Fray


Seymour, Richard, The Middle East


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

IN 1992, ENGLISH soccer underwent a dramatic transformation. Until then, while its fast pace and imposing physicality endeared it to fans around the world, it remained the relatively poor and unglamorous relation of its Italian and Spanish counterparts.

But then in 1992, clubs that formed the top, first division of English football, broke away and formed their own association--the FA Premier League. With this came lucrative television deals and the financial independence these top flight teams had craved.

The English Premier League (EPL) became the most aggressively and successfully marketed soccer league in the world and, by the turn of the century, the richest, and most powerful. Its rehabilitation from the dark days of the 1970s-80s crumbling stadiums and hooliganism was complete.

Despite a few notable exceptions, the most talented international soccer stars had previously chosen to play in either Spain or Italy, where clubs offered the most lucrative deals. But as the wages on offer increased, the world's biggest stars began to choose England as a place to show off their skills.

And the League knew how to sell itself like no other. With marketing diamonds like David Beckham at its disposal, it established itself as the dominant force in the south-east Asian and North American markets; revenue from worldwide television rights ran into billions of dollars.

And it was the lure of those all important television rights that gave rise to a new phenomenon in English football: foreign ownership.

The clubs which make up the EPL are extremely powerful in having the power to negotiate their own media and sponsorship deals independently of a governing body. And with the global success of what is increasingly called 'The Brand', whatever it costs to buy a club in the EPL is considered a safe bet to make huge sums of money in the longer term.

The first high-profile foreign takeover was by Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, at Chelsea, although the acquisition was less an investment than the realisation of a very rich man's dream.

There followed the US buy-outs of two more of England's biggest clubs: Manchester United and Liverpool. These were business deals and the solely money-making aspect of the takeovers served to alienate the new owners from the majority of the fans. The first murmurings of disquiet began as yet more foreign businessmen bought control of famous clubs and talk of the EPL games being played abroad was met with strenuous opposition.

Manchester City was another team to be sold to a foreign owner. In their case it was the former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. Things looked up for a while for the club, but when Mr Shinawatra had his assets frozen amid accusations of corruption, he sold the club on to the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

At a single stroke, Manchester City became the richest club in the history of sport.

Sheikh Mansour, son of late UAE president, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and brother of the current president, is his country's Minister of Presidential Affairs. With a number of independent business and charity interests, Sheikh Mansour also heads ADUG, part of the vast sovereign investment arm of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which enjoys an estimated $850bn worth of assets. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

English Football Club Attracts Arab Buyer; One by One, England's Most Famous Soccer Clubs Are Being Bought by Foreign Owners and Now an Abu Dhabi Investment Group Has Entered the Fray
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.