THE Yanks are coming!
Newcastle United have received a £350million bid from American TV boss Henry Mauriss to rival a Saudi-backed takeover, according to reports.
But should Toon fans be worried?
After all, clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, and Sunderland have all gone backwards since they’re received US-backing.
SunSport rates the Americans who have invaded the Premier League – starting with the country’s most successful club.
Owners: The Glazer family
Net worth: £3.7bn
Malcolm Glazer gradually built up his shares from 2003 before his hugely controversial 2005 takeover of the Red Devils in a £790million deal.
It caused, and still causes, absolute outrage among the United faithful, who were dismayed that the business mogul had borrowed £525million for the purchase.
Fans were also unhappy that their club went from a PLC to a privately owned company.
But the money that’s reportedly being drained out of the club – said to be in excess of £1billion – is the most startling.
Over the years, Manchester United have paid dividends in the region of £18milion-£23million to the Glazer family.
And they are still reported to owe a debt of around £500million – with a £25million a year added on top with interest.
When Malcolm Glazer died in 2014, he left Manchester United to his six sons, who split the 90 per cent ownership between them.
Since 2005, United have won five league championships, three League Cups, an FA Cup, a Champions League and Europa League.
But without a Premier League title since 2013, United fans fear their club has fallen behind the pack, despite spending over a £1billion on transfers since the Glazers came in.
VERDICT – The Glazers have been a disaster for United
Owner: John W. Henry
Net worth: £2.1bn
John W. Henry knows a thing or two about bringing to success to a sleeping giant.
When he took over MLB team Boston Red Sox they were without a World Series win for 86 years. Then, like buses, two came within three years.
And the investor has brought Liverpool success in his ten years at the club since his £366million investment with Tom Werner.
The first five years only brought one League Cup, despite the club spending over £400million on new talent.
However, their fortunes changed with the appointment of Jurgen Klopp in 2015.
Backing his manager in the transfer market, Henry freed up around £440million on new players, including £75million for Virgil van Dijk, £37million for Sadio Mane, and £38million on Mo Salah.
The Reds won the Champions League last season, and looked set to win the Premier League this year – after going thirty years without winning the top flight.
VERDICT – Henry has shown his countrymen how it should be done by being a big success
Owner: Stan Kroenke
Net Worth: £8bn
Since ‘Silent Stan’ gained complete control of the Gunners by buying Alisher Usmanov’s shares in 2018, it’s left Arsenal fans in greater despair.
After all, they’ve seen their club completely fall behind the Champions League pack and have had to get used to Europa League football.
And this season, they could even miss out on that – with lack of investment being the biggest gripe and a perception that Kroenke is using Arsenal as an investment vehicle.
Around £603million was borrowed from Deutsche Bank for the remainder of the shares Kroenke wanted – and just £45million of his own money was pledged in the transaction.
In 2013-14, he paid his company £3million for “services rendered” which caused outrage.
Kroenke since made the club private and information on Arsenal’s annual report is no longer released.
Despite ploughing over £1billion into building a new stadium for his NFL franchise LA Rams, Kroenke is more stringent when it comes to loosening the purse-strings.
In the past two seasons, since he gained full control, Arsenal have spent around £235million on new players, while around £55million has been recouped on players’ sales.
And without Champions League football on the horizon, it’s been reported that Kroenke will only give Mikel Arteta a budget of around £45million.
Recently though, it was reported Kroenke had pumped in some of his fortune into the club to help ease Arsenal’s financial burden during the coronavirus crisis.
VERDICT – Has turned Arsenal into a spent force
Owners: Joshua Harris and David S. Blitzer
Combined net worth: £3.4bn
The Wall Street financiers bought minority stakes in the Eagles in 2015, having long had their eye on the Premier League.
They also own NHL team New Jersey Devils and NBA side Philadelphia 76ers.
Last year, the pair had reportedly put the club up for sale and were looking for another US investor.
There are plans afoot though for £100million refurbishment of Selhurst Park in the near future.
Under Roy Hodgson, Palace have established themselves as a Premier League team since promotion in 2013.
VERDICT – Not much in terms of player investment, but Selhurst Park refurbishment shows they mean well
Owner: Shahid Khan
Net worth: £7.6bn
In 2013, Khan paid an undisclosed sum (believed to be in the region of £150m-£200m) to Mohamed Al-Fayed for the Cottagers, but they were soon relegated.
He vowed to make Fulham a Premier League fixture, got them back up in 2018, before they were relegated again.
Still, investing over £100million on new talent when they were promoted the second time round showed Khan was willing to do what it takes to make the club a success.
He won favour with Fulham fans by apologising for their relegation, and is well-liked in West London.
Also has plans to redevelop Craven Cottage with an £80million new stand.
VERDICT – Supporters relatively positive about Khan, but he has overseen two relegations
Owner: Ellis Short
Net worth: £1bn
When Ellis Short met ex-Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn in 2006 at the Ryder Cup, the chance encounter ended up with the American investing in the club.
It was a decision that cost him a reported £250million as Sunderland’s fortunes on the pitch – cruelly shown on Netflix documentary ‘Sunderland ‘Till I Die’ – took a downward spiral.
Consecutive relegations from the Premier League and the Championship didn’t help Short’s cause.
At one time it was reported a fans’ group wanted to buy the club from him, they were that dismayed at their lack of progress.
VERDICT – The worst of the lot, Sunderland are still paying the price for Short’s lack of support for their previous managers
Owner: Randy Lerner
Net worth: £1bn
In 2006, Lerner took over Aston Villa after a fascination with British football that stemmed from his time studying at Cambridge University.
The club rapidly went downhill, and were relegated in 2016 for the first time in 29 years.
He had tried to sell the club four years prior, but couldn’t find any takers.
Fans believe his lack of interest in the club coincided with their demise – and put the blame on him for his lack of investment, as well as selling their best players.
In May 2016, Lerner sold Aston Villa to Chinese businessman Tony Xia and his Recon Group.
VERDICT – Another American disaster story