Sheikh Mansour stays top of Rich List

Manchester City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayan has maintained his place at the top of the Football Rich List 2011/12.

The Sheikh, who has pumped more than £1 billion into City since buying the Premier League club in 2008, has seen his wealth hold steady over the last 12 months, currently standing at a cool £20bn.

His cash has helped City enjoy an FA Cup triumph and qualification for the Champions League last season, and with the Blues pushing rivals Manchester United hard in the early stages of this season’s title race, his hefty investment finally appears to be bearing fruit.

Having lost top spot last year, QPR’s Lakshmi Mittal (£11.8bn) has slipped to third place this time. As if losing an eye-watering £5.2bn in a year doesn’t hurt enough, Mittal has been leap-frogged by major Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov (£12.4bn), who has gained £3.4bn.

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Yet neither Usmanov nor Mittal have been able wrestle complete control of their clubs.

Usmanov lost out to Stan Kroenke (eighth on the Rich List) in the battle for majority control at Emirates Stadium in April, while Mittal saw Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes (31st) beat him to the 61 percent stake in QPR previously held by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Still in fourth is the original Premier League billionaire, Roman Abramovich. After eight years at Chelsea, the Russian oil tycoon is still without a Champions League title, although he’ll be comforted by his £2.9bn rise in riches from last year.

The Liebherr family will be delighted that their continued support has seen Southampton rise to the top of the Championship, following promotion from League One last season. They round off the top five.

While Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United are currently gate-crashing the Premier League’s top four, the Buckinghamshire-born billionaire has now moved into the Rich List top 10 for the first time, with his wealth having risen from £950m to £1.37bn.

Just above Ashley, Manchester United’s unpopular Malcolm Glazer is £110m richer but still in ninth, coming in at £1.64bn. Stanley Kroenke (Arsenal, £1.8bn), Denis O’Brien (Celtic and Doncaster Rovers, £2.517bn) and Joe Lewis (Tottenham Hotspur, £2.7bn) complete the top 10.

By Tom Hocking

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