Football Clubs you can buy shares in

Football is a massive industry, but investing in it is largely closed to the fans. A few football clubs have shares you can buy though, listed on stock markets around the world, so not everyone has to be a Glazer.

There are a surprisingly large number of football clubs you can buy shares in, so if you want to invest in Manchester United, control more of Arsenal than Stan Kroenke or be part of Rangers' rise back to the top of Scottish Football, read on.

Manchester United

The largest football club traded on the stock market is Manchester United. Manchester United shares are traded on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) using the symbol NYSE:MANU.

Old Trafford by vegaseddie, FlickrFounded in 1878 as Newton Heath Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Football Club, Manchester United was incorporated in 1892, selling shares in the company for £1 each.

By 1902 the club was struggling financially and looking likely to go bankrupt. The club was saved by John Henry Davies who led a group of local businessmen in a £500 takeover of the club.

Davies turned the club around over the next couple of decades, winning the First Division (now the Premier League) in 1908 & 1911 and the FA Cup in 1909. He also hired Manchester United's first professional manager, Ernest Mangnall and in 1908 financed the club's move to their home at Old Trafford.

The club's fortunes began to wane after World War I and faced bankruptcy again in 1931. They were saved after investment of £30,000 from James W Gibson.

In 1964, Louis Edwards, a lifelong Manchester United fan and close friend of United manager Matt Busby, started buying shares with the intention of taking a controlling stake in the club. He was appointed chairman in June 1965 and held the majority of shares by the start of the 1970s, continuing as chairman until his death in 1980, when his son Martin Edwards took over.

Manchester United was listed on the stock market in the UK in 1991. The IPO (initial public offering of shares) did not go as well as expected, with only £6.7million being raised.

Rupert Murdoch made an unsuccessful bid to buy the club in 1998, but was blocked by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Malcolm Glazer and his family were successful in their bid to take control of the club in 2005, acquiring 28.7% of Manchester United shares and pushing the market cap of the company to £800 million.

Manchester United left the London Stock Exchange in 2005 and listed on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) in 2012 for $14 a share. As of June 2014 Manchester United is worth $2.8billion.

AS Roma

AS Roma by michael-wright, FlickrAS Roma shares can be bought and sold on the Borsa Italiana, the Italian Stock Exchange. Around 67% of the shares were held by Compagnia Italpetroli SpA, which in turn is owned by the Sensi family. Francesco Sensi was the head of the family until his death in 2008 and made his money in the oil industry.

The Sensi family share was sold in 2011 to NEEP Roma Holding SpA. After the takeover and the additional purchase of shares from existing holders NEEP's share of AS Roma was increased from 67.1% to around 78%, where it currently stands.

AS Roma is valued at around €130 million, although that value fluctuates with its share price. AS Roma are not currently profitable, with a loss in 2013 of nearly €40 million.


Juventus by enki22, FlickrJuventus shares trade on the Borsa Italiana, in Juve's home country of Italy.

Juventus Football Club S.p.A. (Juventus or Juve for short) is an Italian football club playing in Serie A. The club, which was founded in 1897, plays its home matches at the 41,250 capacity Juventus Stadium in Turin.

Known as "La Vecchia Signora" (The Old Lady) to its fans, Juve is one of the most successful teams ever in Italian club football, having won no fewer than 30 Italian Championships. The first of these was secured in 1905, with the most recent being won in the 2013/14 season. In addition, the club has won 9 Italian Cups and 2 European Cups/UEFA Champions Leagues.

In December 2001 the club listed its shares on the Borsa Italiana and iscurrently one of three Italian clubs who's shares are publicly traded.

In 2006 Juve was caught up in a match-fixing scandal, which eventually saw the club being relegated to Serie B, but the following season saw them being promoted immediately back into the Italian top flight.

The club has seen great success in recent times, winning back to back Italian Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2013 the club was ranked 9th in Europe (1st in Italy) in the Football Money League.

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund by timo-fach, FlickrBorussia Dortmund shares are traded in Germany on the Xetra exchange.

Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund is a German football club playing in the Bundesliga. More commonly known as Borussia Dortmund, the club which was founded in 1909, plays in the 80,000 capacity Westfalenstadion.

The club's major honours include 8 German championships and 3 German cups (winning the league and cup double in 2012) as well as winning the 1997 Champions League title, making it one of the most successful clubs in German football history.

Having suffered financial problems and poor form in the 1980s, the club returned to the glory years in the 1990s winning 2 Bundesliga titles, and its first (and to date only) UEFA Champions League title.

In 2000 Borussia Dortmund listed its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and to date is the only German football club to be publicly quoted. In 2013 the club was ranked 11th in Europe (2nd in Germany) in the Football Money League.

Celtic by ronmacphotos, FlickrGlasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers both trade on the London Stock Exchange, with Celtic shares traded using the ticker CCP.

Celtic's transition to a publically traded company began in March 1994 when the club was bought by Fergus McCann, a Canadian entrepreneur born in Scotland, for £9 million. McCann then floatedthe company on the London Stock Exchange whilst personally backing the £7 million debt of the club, which was close to bankruptcy.

At the time McCann made it clear he would only be involved for 5 years and put his 51% stake up for sale as promised in 1999. He shifted his holding for £40 million, making a healthy £31 million profit.

Celtic's majority shareholder is Dermot Desmond, an Irish billionaire who made a large portion of his wealth buying London City Airport for £23.5 million in 1995 and selling it for £750 million in 2006.

Rangers by tombrogan, FlickrRangers shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange. Rangers and Celtic, both Glasgow clubs are known collectively as the Old Firm. There have been 399 matches between the two clubs since 1888, although they have not met since 29 April 2012 when Celtic won 3-0.

The main reason the clubs have not met in over 2 years is that Rangers were relegated to the Third Division (now known as Scottish League Two), a drop of 3 divisions from the Scottish Premiership where Celtic remained.

Rangers were relegated for their financial (rather than sporting) performance. The club was owned at the time by Rangers Football Club Plc who, on 14 June 2012 entered liquidation. The club and its assets were then bought by Sevco Scotland Ltd.

As a new company, Sevco were forced to apply for their club, Rangers FC, to be admitted to the Scottish Premier League, an application which was rejected. The process involved a vote between all clubs in the SPL, which was lost 10-1. Rangers were instead allowed to join the Third Division and have since been working their way back towards the SPL.

Sevco Scotland changed their name to The Rangers Football Club Ltd in July 2012 and were admitted to AIM (the Alternative Investment Market, a branch of the London Stock Exchange) on 19 Dec 2012.

Arsenal FC

Arsenal by goonerpower, FlickrThe Arsenal FC share price is big. Scary big. One share will set you back around £15,000, so if you want one you'll need to start saving up. Arsenal shares can be bought and sold through the independent "Fanshare" scheme, or directly on the ISDX market (the erstwhile PLUS market).

Slightly bizarrely, the club advise against buying Arsenal shares as an investment to make money, saying the shares are designed to allow fans to share in the ownership of the club.

The Gunners play at the Emirates stadium in North London and were valued at around $1.3billion in 2014, the 5th most valuable football club in the world, behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal have been managed by Arsene Wenger since 1996, making him the longest serving manager the club has ever seen. Wenger has led them to victory in the Premier League 3 times, the FA Cup 5 times and the FA Community Shield 4 times.

The largest individual shareholder of Arsenal shares is Stan Kroenke, who owns over 66% of the club. Red & White Securites, a company owned by Russia's richest man, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri, a British Iranian billionaire own 29.72%. This leaves roughly 4% of Arsenal not in the hands of Kroenke, Usmanov or Moshiri.

Lazio by calciocatania, FlickrLazio shares are traded on the Borsa Italiana. Lazio are an Italian club.

Società Sportiva Lazio, more commonly known as just Lazio, are an Italian soccer club playing in Serie A. The club plays at the 82,300 capacity Stadio Olimpico in Rome, a ground which they share with local rivals AS Roma.

The club, founded in 1900, suffered ill-fortune on and off the pitch when it became caught up in multiple match-fixing scandals in the 1980s, which resulted in a forcible relegation to Serie B in 1980.

Towards the end of the 80s the club's fortunes improved significantly and they were promoted back to Serie A in 1988. Since that date the club has racked up an impressive haul of major honours having won the Serie A title in 2000, six Coppa Italia, as well as the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and European Super Cup, with all these major titles coming since 1998.

In 2000, Lazio listed its shares on the Borsa Italiana, the first Italian club to do so, later to be joined there by local rivals AS Roma and Turin based Juventus.

Further match-fixing scandals followed in 2006, resulting in a European ban, but by 2013 the club was once again rehabilitated and was ranked 26th in Europe (6th in Italy) in the Football Money League.

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