Beckham moves up Rich List but real wealth lies with the owners

The complex nature of football ownership and finance has been underlined by the presence of five Premier League owners in the highest reaches of the Rich List 2011 (for Britain and Ireland) published by The Sunday Times.

Top of the list is steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who has a stake in just-promoted Queens Park. He is rated at being worth £17,514m despite also topping the losses list for the year with £5m.

Second is another metals billionaire in Alishev Usmanov, the Uzbek-born Russian citizen who is the largest share-holder in Arsenal after majority-interest controller Stan Kroenke. Usmanov, valued at £12,400m, may consider his annual rise from £7,700m as consolation for being outwitted - for the time being, at least - in the football boardroom games in north London.

Third is Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, on £10,300m. The Russian oligarch is estimated to have spent £1bn of his personal fortune on the club over the past eight years though success in the UEFA Champions League remains elusive.

Joe Lewis, the Bahamas-based financier in the background at Tottenham, is no22 in the list on £2,800m, with QPR's controlling share-holder Bernie Ecclestone - better known for his command of Formula One - at 23 on £2,500m. Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed is at 46 on £1,300m with Newcastle's Mike Ashley at 52 on £1,268m.

Highest-ranked football 'personalities' are LA Galaxy forward David and fashion-designer wife Victoria Beckham, jointly valued with a wealth of £165m. This represents a £20m (or 14pc) increase over the past 12 months but still leaves the pair - guests at the recent Royal Wedding - far from any premier league status in the Rich List . . . at 420 equal.



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