Famous actors are frantically snatching up soccer teams. George Clooney may be the next star to make the leap from avid viewer to owner of his very own team. Here’s what’s going on.
A Good Investment
It’s becoming increasingly popular for celebrities and former athletes to purchase sports teams. Some make sense right off the bat: Alex Rodriguez attempted to purchase the New York Mets, while Dwyane Wade is a part-owner of the Utah Jazz. Natalie Portman teamed up with Serena Williams and others to bring women’s soccer to California.
Part of this is out of love, but it is also a shrewd business decision. Look at any sale of any major sports team and you’ll see they tend to astronomically appreciate in value over time. The disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner bought the team for $12.5 million and later sold it for $2 billion. There’s an inconceivable amount of money to be made here.
Follow Reynolds’ Lead
If any celebrity is the poster boy for this new wave it’s Ryan Reynolds. He and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney purchased Wrexham AFC, a Welsh team in the fifth level of English football. He even got name-dropped on Ted Lasso for the purchase. The two bought the team as part of a documentary, and it remains to be seen if and when they sell it.
Clooney Getting In?
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Clooney seems primed and ready to buy a sports team of his own. In an interview with Derbyshire Life, he opened up about his relationship with the beautiful game. “the passion of British soccer fans takes loyalty to a club onto a higher level. I think, in part, that is what made me start to take notice of soccer.”
Clooney may be purchasing Derby County Football Club. He says he became interested in the team after working with Jack O’Connell. He says, “I was introduced to the Rams by Jack O’Connell a few years ago when we were making a movie together. He was so passionate about his team and has followed Derby County all his life.”
O’Connell’s interest rubbed off on Clooney, who started following the club. “‘I watched a few games on TV and gradually I began to understand soccer better and began to look out for Derby County’s games and results. I have been watching ever since.” Clooney is also aware of the team’s history, and says “I am sure there is a great future too.”
Considering how Derby is doing at the moment, you can’t help but wonder if Clooney is interested in righting the ship himself. The club is facing relegation to the third tier of football.
This means a colossal loss in revenue, advertising, and exposure, which in turn makes it much harder to attract and keep good players. Clooney says, “I know that there have been problems in recent times but nothing that cannot be fixed and under the circumstances, the team has been working really hard and playing well.”
Perhaps Clooney could help his team out by spending a few million on it. We all know he’s good for it. For now, it appears the club is being sold to Chris Kirchner. Sales change all the time however, just ask a Mets-less Rodriguez.