7 Football Clubs Owned By Famous Footballers

It’s no longer news that a lot of footballers make a good amount of money. This usually throws up questions of how to spend or invest this money. A few invest in real estate while others set up businesses or foundations. A few, however, choose to give back and own a football club of their own.

Here are 7 famous players who have gone the latter route and own football clubs of their own.


7. Gerrard Pique – Andorra FC

Andorra FC is a football club based in Encamp, Andorra, but have competed in the Spanish football league system since 1948. The club was established in 1942, and was the first football club to be founded in Andorra. Barcelona centre-back, Gerrard Pique bought the club in December 2018 through his company Kosmos Holding Group. Andorra FC currently play in Segunda División B, the third tier of Spanish football, and are managed by former Barca assistant coach, Eder Sarabia.


6. Phoenix Rising – Didier Drogba

Phoenix Rising is an American club playing in the second tier the US football pyramid and it was founded in 2014 as Arizona United Soccer Club. In 2016, after a change in ownership, the club was rebranded Phoenix Rising FC.

On April 12, 2017; Phoenix signed Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba on a free transfer. The Ivorian also purchased an ownership stake in the Arizona based club and thus became the first ever player-owner in football history.

Among the other notable owners are baseball star Brandon McCarthy, DJ and record producer, Diplo and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Pete Wentz.

After a fantastic 2018 season in which they finished third in the Western Conference Standings just two points behind the table toppers, Phoenix Rising will now compete in the conference playoffs.

Former England, Chelsea and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips played for Phoenix Rising in 2017.


5. Salford City – Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt

Salford City is a football club based in Salford, Great Manchester and in 2014, a part of Manchester United’s famous Class of 92 completed a takeover of the club when they were playing in Premier League Division North which is the seventh division in England.

In September 2014, the ownership team comprising of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt agreed to sell a 50% stake in the club to Singapore based billionaire Peter Lim who also owns La Liga club Valencia. The remaining 50% was split equally between Giggs, Scholes, Butt and the Neville brothers.

Since the takeover, Salford City has earned two promotions and are currently playing in England’s fifth division, National League North. The team is currently top of the table and if they finish the season on top, then they will gain promotion to EFL League Two.

Giggs previously stated that the aim is to bring Salford City to the Championship in fifteen years and if they move forward at the current pace, then that target should be met with time to spare.

4. Paolo Maldini – Miami FC

Maldini teamed up with businessman, Riccardo Silva to establish Miami FC in the North American Soccer League, America’s second tier. The former Italian defender appointed Alessandro Nesta as the club’s first coach, however, the club is now managed by Paul Dalglish. Miami FC competes in the USL Championship, the second tier of the American soccer division.

3. San Diego 1904 – Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sow

San Diego 1904 is another club based in the United States owned by football stars. Founded in June 2017 by current stars Demba Ba, Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sow, the club was supposed to start activities in 2018 in the North American Soccer League.

However, due to the cancellation of NASL, San Diego attempted to join the United Soccer League in 2019 but an agreement couldn’t be reached in time. San Diego was later announced as the first member of a planned Division III league, National Independent Soccer Association.

The club will play its home games temporarily in University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium but the plan is to build a new stadium in Oceanside, approximately 40 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Demba Ba has labelled San Diego as the ‘project of their life’.

“One of our goals is to sign players who have a strong passion for the game, who are competitive and love to win. All my life as a football player I lived with competition and competition is going to be good for us and for San Diego.”

Eden Hazard also has great hopes on the San Diego project.

“We see great things for this club and for soccer in San Diego. It’s a tremendous honour be a part of this club and to give San Diego what it deserves – professional football.”

2. Real Valladolid – Ronaldo

Real Valladolid earned promotion to the La Liga at the end of the 2017/18 season after four years. On September 3, 2018, it was announced that former Brazil international Ronaldo Nazario became the majority shareholder after purchasing 51% controlling stake of the club.

“The arrival of Ronaldo puts Real Valladolid on the map and will allow the club to take a leap in quality,” said president Carlos Suarez.

Ronaldo played in the La Liga for Barcelona and Real Madrid, and speaking at a news conference after the takeover he said:

“I have gone through many stages in my training in football to prepare. Football is a passion. This new management will be defined by four words: competitiveness, transparency, revolution and social.”

Ronaldo’s new team is currently seventh in the league table with 12 points from eight games and is only four points behind table-toppers Sevilla.

Prior to owning Valladolid, Ronaldo had a minority stake in NASL club Fort Lauderdale Strikers which was dissolved in 2016.

1. Inter Miami CF – David Beckham

David Beckham’s move to the MLS in 2007 was a landmark moment in the history of the league as it thrust the relatively unknown league into the limelight. As a part of his transfer to LA Galaxy, there was an agreement which allowed Beckham to own an MLS expansion team at a discounted franchise fee.

In 2014, Beckham exercised his option to buy an MLS expansion team for $25m. The initial plan was to start playing in 2016 or 2017 but it was pushed to 2020 due to delay in getting a stadium deal completed. Beckham’s business partner Simon Fuller and five other businessmen also have stakes in the club.

The team’s official name is Internacional de Futbol Miami.

A host of current superstars including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been linked with a future move to the Miami based club. Hopefully, that happens and we get to see Ronaldo and Messi share the field as teammates week in week out.