Football billionaires hit by shrinking finances

Some of the wealthiest men in British football, including Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, have lost large parts of their fortunes as the number of billionaires has shrunk.

Forbes magazine’s findings confirm what FourFourTwo’s Football Rich List showed in January – that many top money men are losing large slices of their fortunes.

And now Forbes has released the billionaire list showing that elite owners such as Abramovich have been feeling the pinch during this economic recession.

Forbes, who found that the number of dollar billionaires worldwide has shrunk from 1,125 to 793, place the Chelsea owner's fortune at $8.5 billion.

Not only is that savagely reduced from their 2008 figure of $23.5bn, it’s a startling billion dollars less than he was credited with in FourFourTwo’s own Rich List just two months ago.

Tottenham majority shareholder Joe Lewis was a high-profile loser in the investment crash, with Forbes estimating his wealth at just $2.5bn, down from the £2.5 billion quoted in January. That’s what happens when you invest $1bn in Bear Sterns just before it collapses and is rescued by the government.

Still, if Joe was at Wembley for the League Cup final he could have afforded a bigger round than Manchester United’s owner Malcolm Glazer, who’s slipped to $2.2bn.


QPR minority shareholder Lakshmi Mittal, who is regarded by Forbes as the eighth richest man in the world, is also feeling the pinch with a reduced fortune of $19.3bn. Rs’ co-owner Bernie Ecclestone hasn’t gone backwards though – he’s steady on $3.7bn.

There are also mixed fortunes in the Arsenal boardroom, with Arsenal Stan Kroenke up a little at $3bn while Alisher Usmanov is down at $1.6bn.

And while Manchester City’s new owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a new entry to the Forbes list at $4.9bn, fans of other teams can take heart from the fact that he’s only 104th on the list. There’s plenty of eligible sugar daddies out there…


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