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Asian owners of European football clubs

Published on May 20, 2014 9:28 AM
Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim during an Atletico Madrid exhibition soccer match at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on May 21, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: EPA

On Saturday, Peter Lim became the first Singaporean to own a top European football club after his 420 million euros (S$720 million) bid was accepted. He joins an exclusive group of Asians who have taken control of elite European clubs.

1) Thaksin Shinawatra - Manchester City (2007-2008)
The former Thailand prime minister, 64, bought Manchester City in July 2007 for £82 million (S$173 million) after failing to acquire Liverpool and Fulham. Thaksin stepped down just a year later when his fortune was frozen by the Thai authorities. At least, City signed Vincent Kompany during his reign.

2) Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Manchester City (2008-present)
EPL champions City are currently backed by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, who bought over Thaksin's stake in Sep 2008. Armed with the petrol dollars, City went on a buying spree of top footballers like Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Robinho. The club has since won the title twice in the last three years.

3) Carson Yeung - Birmingham City (2009-2014)
Birmingham may have won the League Cup in 2011 but they were also relegated from the EPL that same year under the Hong Konger. The 54-year-old former hairdresser was accused of money laundering and was tried in a Hong Kong court. He was found guilty and sentenced to six years in jail this March.

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