Want to buy a Premier League club? Here are eight that could be open to offers.


By Tony Attwood

We were wondering which clubs in the Premier League have the biggest debt – and whether as a result any of them were up for sale.

An article in Sports Brief suggests that they know what is going on, and here are the debt figures they come up with for the ten most indebted clubs.

  1. Chelsea F.C – £1.38 billion
  2. Tottenham Hotspurs (as they are very amusingly called in the article)- £726 million
  3. Manchester United £424m
  4. Brighton and Hove Albion: £360m
  5. Newcastle United £238m
  6. Leicester City £237m
  7. Liverpool £232m
  8. West Ham United £89m
  9. Southampton: £62m
  10. Everton: £58m

But does that mean they could all be up for sale?

Chelsea is owned by American billionaire Todd Boehly and a consortium of investors, and by and large they don’t seem to have a clue as to what they are doing.  Their biggest problems are a) they are still stuck in Stamford Bridge and seem to have no way of re-working the “new stadium next door” project and b) they don’t know much about running a football club.

But with that level of debt they clearly owe too much to let it fail – in that if Chelsea did default on its debts the club would die and they would lose whatever money they have put in.   What they need to do is a Newcastle-type deal and sell it to Iran, Iraq, Russia or Kuwait.   If one of those would take it off their hands, they could be all right – except maybe not any of those with dubious politics.  So Kuwait maybe.

Tottenham have a problem which was meant to be their solution: the stadium.  I suspect that the financial plans included a hefty chunk of money from a ground sponsor, and the winning of a few trophies.  But instead, it looks like Tottenham could be doing what Arsenal did after building the new stadium – pottering around in fourth for quite a few years.  Arsenal were saved by Wenger being the master of the FA Cup (remember he won it more times than anyone else in history).  Winning the cup doesn’t by itself solve financial problems but each win includes seven games that otherwise might not have happened (that’s almost another fifth of a season’s income) and lots of good publicity.

Manchester United’s problem is that the shareholders’ income from the club taken in dividends is staggering, and the owners need to sell the club in a way that guarantees that extraordinary income for the rest of their lives.  That means not just selling the club for a lot, but a lot more than that.  And just when you need a multi-billionaire there doesn’t seem to be one.

Brighton are paid for by a fan who made and makes a fortune from gambling, and his syndicate has been successfully making money for a sustained period of time.  As of October 2022, the owner’s total tournament winnings exceeded $3,800,000.

But Brighton’s debts are $434.76 million, so the buying of  Brighton also looks likely to be a gamble.  He will need to sell at some stage.

Newcastle United need not detain us.  Only a coup in Saudi Arabia could harm them.

Leicester City might be in financial trouble as their long-term financial stability is backed by the Srivaddhanaprabha family.  Certainly, the club’s clever on-the-pitch tactics which Untold revealed, have all unravelled.  We wait to see what tactics (football or financial) they come up with next.  They are currently just three points above the relegation zone.

In the last transfer window they spent something like £15m and received from sales £75m – that suggests a continuing need to give money back to the owners rather than the investment in the future they urgently need.

Everton’s odd state was revealed by an article in the Guardian which said, “Today, the majority of Everton’s current external loans – largely secured on property around Goodison Park – have been taken out with a company called Rights and Media Funding Limited (RMFL), a small player in the world of financing that has also lent money to West Ham United [and] Nottingham Forest…”

The Guardian’s piece then added, in relation to the lenders “…while it has two directors, the company does not possess a single employee, according to its latest set of unaudited accounts. Nor does the lender have a website, a phone number or a Financial Conduct Authority registration.”

West Ham are up for sale, and it is surprising that no one has bought the club, given that they have a ground that was given to them for 99 years by Boris Johnson.  Why does no one want them?  Could it be because the ground is a liability not an asset?

Southampton were purchased by investment firm Sport Republic in a £100m deal, and they appear to be owned by a Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng, so what they are up to is anyone’s guess.

But if you want to buy a football club – most of those above are probably willing to accept a decent offer…

18 Replies to “Want to buy a Premier League club? Here are eight that could be open to offers.”

  1. How the hell have Brighton managed to accrue such massive debts absolutely baffles me!!
    The amount of profits they make off player sales should surely have seen them better off than that?!

  2. Tony,

    yes Mr Wenger was the master of the FA cup, but you are forgetting that he was the master of the CL as well, qualifying all these consecutive years of dire straits. No other manager has ever done that and I doubt Sp*rs will be able to copy it.

  3. Chris


    Despite never winning it, and unforetuneately only reaching 1 final, the net income from finishing top 4 and qualifying for the CL was huge, far exceeding anything we could of earned by ‘winning’ a domestic trophy.

    Not only did Wenger know how crucial this was for Arsenals survival, but so I suspect did everyone else. Alas that didn’t stop them mocking him at every opportunity, including our own ex players and many to many fans.

    And the truth is we didn’t ‘fail’ in Europe. Given the circumstances and the available money for transfers we basically performed to par. At no time did we go in to the competition as favourites. Barca, Madrid and Bayern as well as Man Utd would all of been seeded ahead of us, as possibly would Italian sides at the time.

    On our budget at the time we over achieved in the PL, unfortunately we only played to par in Europe.

    No shame, but no cigar either.

    A very very long way to go, but lets hope Arteta can put that gap in our CV right.

  4. For those that subscribe to the Athletic, its mentioned that the Boss of VAR will step down in the summer.

  5. @Ben,

    Well, visibly another incompetent is being shoved out.
    The ship is sinking…the rats are scrambling out.
    Wonder who will be replacing him

  6. @John L.,

    yeah, the risk is there. On the other hand, at some point, some of these guys will rather want to keep their job then lose it, what with mortgage payments, cost of living…etc…. and being labelled incompetent by the press around the world does not look good on a resumé.

    So I’m betting that there is going to be some kind of self-preservation now that the dam has been breached and that survival instincts are going to play a role.

    2 VAR errors, one of which that could change the result of the season, and 2 guys ‘fired’ even if the word is not used. The next guys are going to be more careful, which equates to making sure they don’t screw up that bad. To me this means that quality will get better and incompetence or bias will be less.

  7. Just fascinating seeing the guardian starting now the discussion :

    Casemiro furthers case for player of the season at Wembley – Football Weekly podcast

    I mean… yeah they are the fan club of Manure, but seriously ?!?! a shoo-in ? after 24 games and a non-trophy trophy ? It does not get much more biased then this.

  8. Chris and John L

    “……..being labelled incompetent by the press around the world does not look good on a resumé”.

    But as far as I can tell the British press are still complicit.

    As I pointed out in another article, as far as I have seen, when VAR ‘supposedly’ looked at Sakas goal on Saturday, yet again VAR failed to put lines down, which as we know is a clear breach of procedure and led, at least in part, to the dismissal of Lee Mason.

    Now I’m not saying it was on side, it looks fractionally off side to me, but that isn’t the point. It was a close call and lines should of been drawn, and from everything I have seen they were not.

    MOTD didn’t even show the incident. WHY?

    SKY never commented about the lack of lines. WHY?

    I haven’t seen anything in the press regarding no lines being drawn. WHY?

    Now if someone somewhere can show me lines were draw at the time VAR checked for off side, then fine.

    Until then I am going to assume VAR didn’t follow procedure, again, and the media are NOT mentioning it.

    Tony and I have put a small piece together about this that may go up later, so if anyone can show for sure lines were drawn by VAR at the time, then speak now or forever hold your peace

  9. Nitram,

    yep, I concurr…I’m just taking a step back and looking at the larger picture. PGMOL/VAR made fool of themselves, the result is 2 guys gone. Because the whole world saw it.

    The next guys will know that if they screw up, they’ll be fired and have to think about alternative ways to pay the mortgage and kids studies… so they’ll start getting their shit together. That on close calls Arsenal will never get a break is expected. But the real screw-ups will not happen as often and that is the beginning of better refereeing. They are under pressure to deliver a refereeing performance that is up to expected standard when the whole world watches, even if they do not want to.

    With the hundreds of millions involved, it is about time the owners ALL start pressuring PGMOL to do their job and stop the BS they’ve been doing. It won’t happen in a day. But it has started. And say what you want. The refereeing against Arsenal has diminished.

    What is needed now is to amp the volume and start putting the issue center forward. Like Saka’s treatment. And all Arsneal blogs should start talking about this issue. And apart from Saka’s treatment, there are a few other players who are being mowed down with little punishement to perpretators, Tony talked about it the other day. They should be defended as well, so it is not just an Arsenal issue, but a general issue of incompetence accross the board.

  10. Chris

    You certainly have a point regarding the World looking on. It does seem they are indeed actually laughing at us, and being a laughing stock is never a good look.

    But having seen how ‘they’ and by ‘they’ I mean the English football media, has managed to completely ignore the criminal behaviour of all the main footballing bodies, both home and abroad, I can’t believe for a second those xenophobic halfwits give a shit what ‘Johnny Foreigner’ thinks about anything, including our FA and the PGMOL, and until they pick up the gauntlet, I mean really pick it up, nothing will change.

    I hope I’m wrong Chris but I’m afraid I lost hope a long time ago.

    My Life long love of Arsenal is the only thing that keeps me engaged, I detest every single thing else about football.

  11. Nitram,

    the one thing that started me thinking along these lines was that this autumn, for example in Germany, on Sky, the trailers for the week-end games were with Arsenal players, some others and the poster child, the one shown front and center our Gunner Odergard. Not Haaland, not any other player.

    Saw him again on other trailers, can’t remember where.

    But suddenly, it was Arsenal the team with most seconds of the trailer and our Viking at the end.

    Arsenal have a likability/lovability factor that far outperforms any other team this season. Saka is always smiling, we’ve got a pair of real playboys in Odegard and Holding, we’ve got Brazil magic, a Ukrainian, etc. and all of them are fighting and being a ral family. beats the rich mercenaries any day.

    Ah yes, I forgot : they are winning, showing free-flowing football reminiscent of Wengerball, tehy are fearless (just watch Saka).

    This all has an effect on the big picture. Where they in the middle of the table, things would be mightily different.

  12. Chris

    It is heart warming to hear that, and you never know if that affection will filter through to the premier league, but alas the love affair with Man Utd (and others) is far too entrenched to allow that.

    We are currently witnessing ‘Fergie Time’ returning with a vengeance, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

    My theory has always been that the PGMOL and the referees, and now of course VAR, always bow to the medias current favourites. For a while it’s been Liverpool at the front of the ‘favours’ cue, with United having to drop down the pecking order, but that is reverting back, and how.

    Which team has been screwed by VAR the most?

    Which team has been fined the most despite every other teams players acting in a similar fashion?

    We get nothing.

    Alas Chris it seems being loved in the heartlands of Europe doesn’t help us very much.

  13. PGMOB getting rid of staff may not necessarily be a good thing. Their replacements will simply be told to make sure that they do what they do in less obvious ways.

    Foul throws were regularly awarded against Arsenal in past seasons, and could be brought back in order to turn possession over to opponents. Referees already allow goalkeepers to hold on to the ball in play for over 20 seconds during games, but rarely show a yellow card for it until the 83rd minute. Then there is the “subjective” element which Howard Webb has been very keen to promote during his Sky Sports pre-match pitchside interviews. I wonder what he could be thinking of.

    Subjectivity is the referees’ weapon of choice. What does “clear and obvious” even mean in the context of VAR? It means whatever PGMOB wants it to, and it can, and does change from game to game.

  14. Boehly wants to buy RC Strasbourg. Multi-club ownership problems on the horizon? Wenger probably won’t be happy.

    Man. Utd. share price drops 20% after League Cup win 😀

    Glazers’ valuation £5 billion – FT valuation £1.3 billion.

    Good times

  15. @Nitram,

    please do not forget that most revenue of Pl clubs comes from outside of England. So make the ‘brand PL’ look bad outside of England is bad for business, bottom line, etc.

    This is where it will happen, where the pressure will come from. Some of the clubs need the revenue because they are not owned by bottomless money pits.

  16. Chris

    I very much hope you are right. We, Arsenal, certainly need you to be right because with 4 bankrolled teams and Man Utd back at the top of the medias love and favours table, it’s going to be very difficult to maintain a title challenge whilst attempting to run the club on a self sustaining basis.

    I accept what you are saying about where the revenue comes from, but if the last few years have taught us anything, it is that this country doesn’t really do foreign.

    We are the best. We don’t cheat. We don’t lie. We don’t need anybody else. That myopic, xenophobic vision of the World applies across all aspects of our society, from how we are governed to how our national sport is run.

    Now I’m not even saying that is right or wrong, that’s up to every individual, what I am saying is that it basically means that our people in power do not give a **** what the foreigners think, even if they are ‘investors’.

    Give us your money and just be grateful we’re allowing you to do so!!!

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