Money Matter$

Which Premier League owner has been hit hardest by the recession?

Usmanov loses 74 per cent of his fortune

Alisher Usmanov

Britain’s super-rich were crying in their corn flakes yesterday morning as The Sunday Times Rich List detailed the damage to their collective banks accounts. In the past year, the number of billionaires has fallen from 75 to 43, and the cumulative wealth of the nation’s 1,000 richest people has fallen from £413bn to £258bn.

Roman Abramovich - who has had to cut back on his expensive yacht habit this year – remains in second place with an estimated fortune of £7bn, down 40 per cent from £11.7bn.

Popular Newcastle Utd owner Mike Ashley has also suffered from the nation’s reticence to buy Lonsdale hoodies and Umbro baseball caps, losing fifty per cent of his £1.4bn fortune.

The biggest loser, however, is Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov. The Russian oligarch was once the world’s 91st richest person, but in the past year has seen a massive 74 per cent of his wealth disappear. Now, he’s worth a mere £1.5bn – approximately the same value of the pile of money that Harry Redknapp sleeps on.

Most Arsenal fans won’t lose any sleep follwing the news of Usamanov’s financial misfortune, as it will undoubtedly dent his quest to take a majority shareholding at the club.

The Sunday Times also reveal that occasional Newcastle Utd striker Michael Owen tops the list of the 20 Richest Young Players (£40m). With a fortune of £125m, David Beckham is the richest footballer over 30 in the UK, streets ahead of second-placed Sol Campbell (£33m).

QPR’s Lakshmi Mittal remains the country’s richest club owner (£10.8bn), ahead of Abramovich and Tottenham’s Joe Lewis (£2.5bn).

Check out the full Sunday Times Rich List 2009 list here

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