SkySports carried out a survey on fans of football clubs in the English topflight to determine how they felt about their clubs’ owners, and Leicester City fans emerged as the ones most satisfied with the ownership of their club.
For the survey carried out in July 2021, SkySports collaborated with YouGov to know which fans wanted ownership of their clubs to change due to the ineptitude of their present owners. In the survey, 94.6% of Leicester City’s fans wanted their current owners, led by Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, to retain ownership of the club and continue leading the club’s affairs due to the excellent manner by which the club has been run since he took over. Khun Top, as Srivaddhaprabha is fondly known, took over the running of the club after the demise of his father Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in an unfortunate helicopter crash in 2018. Since he took over the running of the club, Leicester City have gone on to win the FA Cup in 2020/21 and the FA Community Shield in 2021/22. The club also narrowly missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, only missing out on the final day of the season on both occasions. Brighton and Hove Albion fans came a close second, with 94.4% of the Seagulls’ fans satisfied with the ownership of Tony Bloom. Bloom first secured ownership of the club by buying 75% of its shares in 2009. Brentford came out in third place, with 91.7% of their fans satisfied with the ownership of Matthew Benham that brought the club to the English Premier League for the first time in 74 years. The club has also been known for its excellent transfer business of recent years.
At the other end of the spectrum, Newcastle United fans are far from satisfied with owner Mike Ashley, as only 3.1% of them think that the businessman should be allowed to continue as the owner of the club. Despite the club’s continued avoidance of relegation in recent seasons, the fans still do not buy into the philosophy of Ashley. There was a failed £300 million takeover bid from a Saudi Arabia-backed group in 2020. At second from bottom, we have Arsenal with only 8.9% of the fans maintaining belief in the present ownership of the North London club. The club is currently owned by American businessman Stan Kroenke, and was subject of a proposed takeover by Spotify boss Daniel Ek at the end of the 2020/21 season. Manchester United are third from bottom, with just 9.8% of its fans still supporting continued ownership of the club by the Glazer family. Manchester United fans have shown their displeasure at the club’s ownership several times by flying banners above the stadium. They even went as far as storming the club’s home ground in protest before their home match against Liverpool in the 2020/21 season, causing damage to infrastructure and ultimately forcing the match to be rescheduled.