Go to contents

Sports stars show interest in Chelsea takeover bid

Posted April. 23, 2022 07:23,   

Updated April. 23, 2022 07:23


Tennis Grand Slam winner Serena Williams and best Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton joined in a bid to take over Chelsea FC in the English Premier League (EPL), reported BBC on Friday.

The two sports superstars will join hands and work in a consortium under the leadership of former British Airways and EPL Liverpool Chairman Martin Broughton. Former IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Chairman Sebastian Coe is part of this group. Williams won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and Hamilton achieved a joint-record seven World Drivers' Championship titles in Formula 1, each of whom will reportedly invest 10 million pounds in the bid.

Back in 2020, Williams with her daughter who was then two years old and Hollywood movie star Natalie Portman made an investment in Los Angeles Angel City in the U.S. National Women's Soccer League, showing a great interest in football clubs. Known as a big fan of Arsenal FC in the EPL, Hamilton seeks to find ways to get involved in directly running football clubs taking this investment as an opportunity.

Williams and Hamilton are not the only non-football players who participate in a takeover bid for football clubs. NBA Los Angeles Rakers’ famous player LeBron James earned two percent of Liverpool’s shares in 2011. NBA Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash secured shares of RCD Mallorca in the secondary professional league in Spain via an investment business.

Brooklyn Nets’ forward Kevin Durant and Philadelphia 76ers’ guard James Harden are shareholders of Philadelphia Unions and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS), respectively.

The rapid growth of European and North American football clubs attracts investment of global sports stars. The European football market is sweeping the world at its peak while football clubs in North America are in the first stages of growth. The 6.5 million dollar investment of LeBron James in Liverpool as of 2011 has grown seven times. Analysts see sports stars’ investments in other sports fields as an attempt to build on their reputation and fame across the sports industry. In this light, the takeover of a globally famous football club can make a significant difference in cementing their image as a sports personality.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com