The FourFourTwo Rich List 2011/12 brings you the wealthiest people involved in British football - managers, players, chairmen, shareholders and board members
Arsenal (Last year £17m, not in main list)
There's comic irony in the FourFourTwo Football Rich List 2011/12's first (or final) name being the man who has spent the last few months being implored to spend more often by more fans than any other manager in history. Arsene Wenger has made it his business that Arsenal don't frequently splash cash on established players, instead signing raw talent and turning them into the finished product before reluctantly selling them on at vast profit once their heads are turned by agents and adventures elsewhere.
But with Arsenal trophyless in six seasons, losing key players more regularly than any academy could replace them and facing a real fight to maintain its heretofore annual place in the Champions League qualification zone at the top of the Premier League, Gooners have been screaming for Wenger to spend the money in the club's coffers on readymade solutions. He did indeed make a few signings before August's transfer deadline but you got the distinct impression it wasn't how he'd choose to operate.
A naturally temperate man, he will have been saving his own money almost as assiduously as he has safeguarded the club's. His Arsenal contract, worth around £2m a year originally, was extended to 2007 after a contract extension in October 2004. It was worth around £3m annually but he signed a new four-year, £4m-a-year deal in September 2007. In August 2010 that contract was extended to 2014. Wenger's company, LA Promotions, showed nearly £2m of net assets in 2009-10.
FourFourTwo's Arsenal club news page
Leyton Orient (Last year £30m, 78th)
Working class bingo, anyone? Orient chairman Barry Hearn is an East End boy (tick!) from a council estate (tick!) whose mother was a cleaner (tick!) and dad a London bus driver (HOUSE!). Showing an early taste for alternative career paths, Hearn trained as an accountant and worked for a large firm where one of his biggest clients was Deryck Healy International, a textile design company. In 1973, he persuaded the firm that it needed a full-time finance director – doubling his salary overnight. "I couldn't believe it: £150 a week."
One of his briefs at Healy was to look at possible acquisitions, so he took the company into snooker, buying the Lucania chain of snooker halls for £500,000 in 1974. It was such a good investment that he put his own money into it. When Healy sold it in 1982 for more than £3.5m, Hearn owned a third of it. He invested his cut – into "bits and pieces, property, a forest in Scotland, you could do things with that sort of money in those days" – and in June 1982 he left Healy to form his own company, Matchroom.
He had a Romford snooker hall, a fruit-machine and pool-table business in the East End, some offices and the best snooker player the world had yet produced, Steve Davis, who simply walked in off the street. Since then Hearn has dominated snooker, overseeing its extraordinary leap as it became established as Britain's favourite television sport. He managed the best players, organised many of the top tournaments and sold them to television. He took 20% of his players' income but re-invested heavily in the sport. He also branched out into boxing, pool, bowling, golf, fishing, poker and darts, giving the latter a much-needed injection of razzmatazz.
In 1995 he bought Orient, then a financial basket case, for a fiver. The League One side have problems attracting decent crowds and are currently near the bottom of the table as of mid-September. Some say Hearn would be willing to sell up but in the meantime he keeps a tight group on the loss-making O's. However, Matchroom, owned by Hearn and his family, made a £117,000 loss on £18.7m sales in 2009.
FourFourTwo's Leyton Orient club news page
NOT AS RICH AS Emma Watson (actor) £24m
Barry Kilby joined the Burnley board of directors in October 1998 and was voted chairman at the AGM two months later. He promptly invested £3m into the club and became the club's largest single shareholder. Born and bred in East Lancashire, Kilby started his career as an entrepreneur selling lottery tickets in local cotton mills. From this, he built his company Europrint into a leading promoter of lottery games for tabloid and broadsheet alike. US lottery giant GTECH paid Kilby £16.8m for an 80% stake in 1998 – hence, presumably, his sudden spare time and cash for his beloved Clarets. The club made a £14.4m profit on £45.4m sales in 2009-10 and despite hefty spending on them, Kilby should be worth £20m.
FourFourTwo's Burnley club news page
Director General of the BBC until he resigned in early 2004 over the Hutton Enquiry, Dyke is now a director of Brentford. Dyke made his name as the man who rescued TV-am and later became chief executive of LWT, where he tried to fight off a bid from Granada in 1994. He lost and collected £9m for his stake. Dyke has other interests including Vine Developments, Vine Leisure and DGCC Ltd, with over £9.1m of net assets attributable to him in 2009-10.
FourFourTwo's Brentford club news page
Crewe Alexandra (Last year £20m, 98th)
Mention "Crewe" and "longevity" and most folks outside the CW postcode will immediately say "Ah, Dario Gradi". But another long-term servant of Crewe Alex was Norman Rowlinson, long-term director and latterly president of the club. His death in August 2006 after more than 40 years at the club was lamented by fans who credit him for saving the club from extinction in the 1960s and 1970s. He was chairman during Crewe's Fourth Division re-election era, although the club did enjoy two promotions under him in the 1960s.
He also chaired the Rowlinson Group, a Nantwich-based timber operation. Entirely owned by his family, it is worth its £17.5m net assets in 2009-10. His son Jimmy took over the Group, Norman's seat on the Crewe Alex board and his 24.2% stake in the club. With the Gresty Road ground now modernised, the club is worth its £8m net asset figure. In total we still value the Rowlinson family at £20m.
FourFourTwo's Crewe Alexandra club news page
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