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5 Asian billionaires who own the ultimate status symbol: Football clubs

Business investment or status symbol? Acquiring football clubs seems to be gaining the interest of ultra high net worth Asians.

  • Tony Xia Jiantong, Chairman, CEO and Owner of Recon Group

    Owns: Aston Villa F.C.
    Acquired in: May 2016 for a reported sum of £60m (S$103.8m)
    Tournament: English Football League (ongoing), ranked 17 of 24

    Amidst football's rising popularity in China, Tony Xia took over Aston Villa in May 2016. He declared some ambitious goals then, vouching to restore the club’s place in the Premier League and to make it the most famous club in China, even the world.

    However, a losing streak this season sees them at bottom of the table. Xia has since tweeted that the journey was "harder than expected”. Yet it's barely been half a year. The Chinese businessman seems willing to fork out any sum needed to get the team rolling, as evidenced by the recent signings of £12m (S$20.77m) striker Scott Hogan and at least two other top-tier players.

All information accurate as of Mar 2, 2017.