As the festivities come to a close and the last Christmas trees are starting to be taken down, it appears to be a bitter start to the New Year for football managers. In what has been a manic close to 2019 and beginning to 2020, we have seen Jose Mourinho sacked from Chelsea, Rafa Benitez from Real Madrid and listened to rumours that Louis van Gaal, Manuel Pellegrini and others may soon follow. But while some may blame them for their performances on the pitch, others have chosen to point their fingers at the Owners and Sporting Directors who perhaps dabble a little too closely in their clubs day-to-day activities. However, there may be a precedent for this…
Just a simple glance at the prestigious rich list that makes up most of the ownerships in the big clubs, shows many have made their money in the stock markets and commodities or companies floated on them and are presumably used to making decisions based on market news in the heat of the moment. Focussing on the Premier League, here’s just a few of our favourites:
Roman Abramovich – Chelsea (Oil and Stocks)
Jeremy Peace – West Bromwich Albion (Accountant and Trader)
Maxim Demin – Bournemouth (Trader)
Randy Lerner – Aston Villa (Stock Market)
Coates Family – Stoke (Gambling Company)
John Henry – Liverpool (Trading Commodities)
Ellis Short- Sunderland (Private Equity Fund)
Joe Lewis – Tottenham (Currency Trading)
Sheikh Mansour – Manchester City (Personal Wealth and Oil)
So with nearly half of the Premier League run by Billionaires and Consortiums who made their money in Trading and Finances, can we truly be that shocked that they run the clubs like businesses rather than social activities. The answer unfortunately, seems to be no, as it would be hard for fans to demand heaps of their capital without expecting an inevitable degree of control that they would expect in their day-to-day businesses. When players are being traded between clubs for vast amounts of money and media deals often appear more publicised than teams’ football results, one can argue that Football is just another market for the rich.
Yet despite all of this, regardless of all the commotion that comes with supporting a club that is more of a global currency than a team, there is no amount of change that would ever turn supporters away from their’ teams and an endless supply of rampant Billionaires looking to increase their portfolio’s should any owners step down, so while we may have to say goodbye to the odd manager and beloved player, the Director’s chair will rarely change so we might as well put up with it and enjoy the love of the game.