How These Football Clubs Came to be Arab Owned

(MENAFN- Vime Digital)

Football clubs around the world have long and interesting stories. These teams often represent their communities and some have been around for over 100 years. This makes it very fascinating to go back and learn the history of these clubs and how they have evolved over the generations. 

From their humble beginnings, many of these professional football clubs have grown to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With price tags like this, it becomes major news when a club announces it is being sold, especially to foreign investors that want to try their hand in the world of football. Sometimes this can mean a club becomes completely transformed, and the wins soon follow. Here are the stories of three football clubs and how they became owned by wealthy Arab groups who helped bring back the good times. 

Manchester City 

Manchester City is one of the oldest football clubs in the United Kingdom. As it was originally founded in 1880, the club is 140 years old and has seen many changes in management and ownership over this time. The period between the years 2000 and 2008 was a time of big changes for the club and this period eventually led to the club being purchased by the current owners, the Abu Dhabi United Group.  

Transitional Time

In the early 2000s, Manchester City was in a transitional state. Manager Kevin Keegan brought a good measure of control and direction to the club, and Manchester City was able to join the Premier League as a result. Around the end of 2006, it was announced that Manchester City was in financial troubles and looking for a new owner. Amidst rampant speculation, it was eventually released that former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had signed a deal with Manchester City. What followed was a very unfortunate and public spectacle. 

In mid 2007, news began circulating that the Thai government was investigating Shinawatra for fraud and corruption. After freezing £830 million worth of his funds and assets, the deal ultimately fell through leaving Manchester City in a bad situation. This predicament would boil over for more than a year before finally a deal was struck with the Abu Dhabi United Group, headed by Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheik Mansour. From a position of dire financial straits, the club was about to be reinvigorated. 

The Beginnings of a New Era

In recent years after the team was sold, Manchester City has become a dominant force in the football world with strong Premier League betting odds in their matchups. The squad was the league champions four times since being bought out, showing that they are now a force to be reckoned with. The Abu Dhabi United Group has become known for their large spending habits and going to extreme lengths to secure top-tier talent. 


Everton is another club with a rich history that stretches all the way back to 1878. While the early days of the club were filled with championships, decades of struggle through economic depressions and both World Wars took a major toll on this historical team. They have managed to keep going up until now, but management has decided that they need new investment if they want to be a success. In 2016, it was announced that Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri had purchased a 49.9% stake in the club, making him the largest shareholder. It may take some time, but we are expecting the fortunes of Everton to turn around in the future. 

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG certainly is not as old as other teams in Europe, but they have achieved much more than their rivals in Ligue 1. The club’s original owner was French fashion designer Daniel Hechter. After he sold the club, there was a period of time with many different majority shareholders like Morgan Stanley, Colony Northstar and Butler Capital. Eventually it became clear that the constant changing of ownership was not beneficial to the club’s future. 

In 2011, the club was bought for  €80 million by Qatar Sports Investments, who are essentially backed by the ruler of Qatar, and Nasser Khelaifi who has since been named “The Most Powerful Man in Football.” Overnight, the club became very wealthy and moved to fill the roster with some exceptional talent like Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Thiago Silva. Since then, they have amassed seven league titles and eighteen national cups.


Vime Digital

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