Celebrities Who Are Involved With Football Clubs

21 November 2020 06:00

In one of our favourite news stories of 2020 (competition isn't stiff, admittedly), Hollywood heavyweights Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney had their proposed takeover of National League outfit Wrexham approved.

That seems odd, right? Well, maybe, just maybe, it's not as odd as it seems - as the pair are not the first celebrities to dabble in the beautiful game at boardroom level.

Indeed, a number of famous faces have got themselves involved with various football clubs down the years. But the question you're almost certainly asking right now is who would do such a thing?

Sit back with a cuppa and 90min will tell you some of the best ones!

1. Elton John

Elton John has a long association with Watford | Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

The three-time Grammy award winner is also a lifelong Watford fan and in 1976 he became the club's owner. Elton John's association with Watford has been anything but a Candle in the Wind.

Under his ownership, the Hornets rose from the fourth division to the top flight, finished league runners up to Liverpool, reached the FA Cup final and played in Europe.

John sold the club in 1987, repurchased it again 10 years later before stepping down as chairman in 2002. Although no longer a majority shareholder, he still holds a financial interest and has a stand named after him at Vicarage Road.

2. Delia Smith & Stephen Fry

Where are you? Let's be 'avin you | Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Which football club in the UK could you have found a celebrity chef as a majority share holder and a Blackadder cast member on the board of directors during the 2010s? Norwich City, of course.

Television chef Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones became majority shareholders of the East Anglian outfit in 1996 - although Smith did attend the 1978 FA Cup final dressed head to toe in the attire of rivals Ipswich Town.

The pair remain owners to this day, with Smith famously delivering a her stirring 'let's be 'avin you' speech at half time on the Carrow Road pitch in 2005.

Comedian, actor and presenter Stephen Fry is also a Canary, and was on the board of directors between 2010 and 2016. He remains the honorary president of the club's LGBT fan group Proud Canaries.

3. Robert Plant

Plant is a huge Wolves fan | Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images

Vocalist of legendary 70s rock band Led Zeppelin Robert Plant is a life long Wolves supporter, and in 2009 he was named as the club's vice president.

Plant explained in an interview that he had been hooked ever since he first attended Molineux as a five-year-old and the great Billy Wright waved at him.

During his 11 years as vice president, the singer has seen Wolves relegated and promoted twice and play in the Premier League, Championship, League One and Europa League.

4. Mindy Kaling

Kaling owns a small share in Swansea City | Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images

For whatever reason, Welsh football clubs have an irresistible allure for celebrities across the pond.

American actress and comedian Mindy Kaling - writer and star of the US Office and the Mindy Project - was one of 25 investors who bought a 68% stake in Swansea City in 2016.

Kaling herself owns a 1% stake in the Championship club - and she chatted about her investment in the South Wales side with Oprah Windfrey and Lorraine Kelly on Lorraine in 2018, describing it as 'an adventure'.

5. Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell is a part owner of LAFC - and really throws himself into it | Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images

American comedy actor Will Ferrell - Elf, Step Brothers, Anchorman etc - invested in a football club a little closer to home when he became co owner of MLS outfit Los Angeles FC.

Ferrell became part-owner of LAFC in 2016, with the club entering MLS two years later. The actor can often be found enthusiastically cheering his side on at the Banc of California Stadium, though sadly not with John C. Reilly in-toe.

6. Russell Wilson, Ciara & Macklemore

Russel Wilson and Ciara are part owners of Seattle Sounders | Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson, Grammy award winner Ciara and rapper Macklemore all have a vested interest in MLS side Seattle Sounders.

Married couple Ciara and Wilson are Seattle based due to the latter's sporting commitments, while Macklemore is Seattle born and raised.

The trio became part of the Seattle Sounders' ownership group in August 2019.

7. Natalie Portman & Serena Williams

23-time grand slam champions Williams is one of a number of investors in a new NWSL side | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The greatest doubles partnership to never win a grand slam?

Not quite, but Star Wars actor Natalie Portman and tennis great Serena Williams are two of a number of investors who were awarded the franchise rights to a new NWSL side in 2020.

Angel City FC are poised to enter the league in 2022.

Source: 90min