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Henry highest new entry on Rich List

While Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour retains his position at the top of the list thanks to £20-billion fortune, this is Henry’s first appearance on the Rich List, after his £300-million takeover of the Merseyside club in October 2010.

The American has entered the Football Rich List 2011/12 in 20th position.

Henry made his fortune in commodity trading before moving into sports management, and is the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, after purchasing the MLB side in 2002 for $700m. 

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Since taking over from much-maligned compatriots Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the Illinois-born businessman - who hails from a farming background - endeared himself to the fans after instilling club legend Kenny Dalglish as manager and heavily investing in the Anfield playing staff. 

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Blackburn Rovers’ Balaji Rao and QPR’s Tony Fernandes also appear on the Football Rich List for the first time, coming in at 23rd and 31st respectively.

Rao, who took over at Ewood Park when the trustees of Jack Walker’s estate sold him 99.9 percent of the shares for £23m, joins the list with a fortune of £500m.

Together with his brother, Balaji represents their family business “Venky’s” which started out as a small operation in India but has since grown into Asia’s largest poultry firm. The company also owns vast amounts of land in India, and across other parts of the world, reporting a total turnover of £1bn – of which £100m is profit.

New QPR chairman Fernandes - valued at £208m, acquired the club in August 2011 after buying out Bernie Ecclestone’s 66 percent stake in the Hoops for overt £35m.

Graduating from the London School of Economics in 1987, he first worked in the music industry as a financial controller for Richard Branson’s Virgin Records, before going back to Malaysia to work form Warner Music from 1992 to 2001.

He then made the move into aviation, where he turned around the fortunes of the heavily indebted AirAsia, before going on to found a further four airlines.

Fernandes has proved popular among the Loftus Road faithful after making money readily available for Neil Warnock to strengthen his squad before the close of the transfer window, as well as announcing significant refunds on season tickets at the West London club.

Another new entry to the Rich List is Hull City owner Aseem Allam, who is valued at £287m and sits three places above Fernandes, in 28th. Allam’s family spent £31m on acquiring the Tigers in December 2010, and have ensured that the club are debt free.

Allam, who hails from Egypt, moved over to the UK in 1968, where he took over a long-established Hull diesel engine group in 1981, naming in Allam Marine. The company manafacture and supply industrial and marine generators, and made a record £17m profit on £132m sales in 2010.

By Vithushan Ehantharajah

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