Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Funding football's future

December 14th, 2009
01:53 PM ET

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/14/sheffield.art.jpg

="Sheffield United football club are taking a novel approach to investment. "]

The top clubs in English football clubs have always attracted investment and in recent years the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been bought by wealthy foreign investors.

But what happens if your club isn't big enough to attract the attention of a overseas benefactor with money to burn?

The answer, in Sheffield United’s view, is to turn the whole system on its head.

Rather than wait for foreign money to come in, the Coca Cola Championship side are investing in other football clubs around the world. United has already bought clubs in China and Hungary and are looking at snapping up clubs in the U.S. and the Middle East.

The idea is to increase business opportunities for the club’s sponsors as well as promote the club’s brand abroad. Investments made now will, the club’s director’s hope, reap sustainable benefits in the future providing dependable revenue streams.

Would you like to see your club follow the example of Sheffield United? Would you be happy for your football team to own others? Or would supporting a club which owns several others make you feel more of a shareholder rather than a fan?

Has the team from a city known for its steel struck gold with what they say is a unique business model? 

Football fans, we want to hear your views on how you think your club should be funded. Post your comments below.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Michael

    I am a fan of AC Milan in Italy. For those of you who don't know about calcio/football/futbol/soccer Milan is owned by Silvio Berlusconi and operated by his right hand man, Adriano Galliani.

    Silvio uses the clubs success to gain political influence (in fact a political slogan of his was "bring in Ronaldinho and kick out the communists") and is willing to translate money into political capital by investing in players. He becomes more distant when he is in power in Italy.

    I would like to see Milan be bought by an owner who not only loves the club but is willing to stand back and let the experts handle the clubs dealings. Berlusconi favors older players and has made the clubs transfer policy to bring in experienced talent for many years. Others have more say now that he is busy as Premier of Italy and Milan has brought in young talent (Alexandre Pato and Ignazio Abate) and begun playing some good football. Get Out Berlusconi!!!

    December 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  2. croatiablade

    Sheff utd should buy sheff wed, shut the piggery down and send them back to there dingle roots .......

    December 15, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.