Moneyball: Asia's key role in European football

Global football is no longer just about sport. Money matters - and in a big way. In this last edition of an eight-part series, here's a look at the increasing presence of Asian players, owners and sponsors in Europe's biggest leagues.

When Fandi Ahmad joined FC Groningen in the Netherlands in 1983, an Asian player in a top-flight European league was a novelty but the idea of an Asian owner of an European team was simply beyond comprehension at that time.

Thirty-five years later, the Asian influence is there for all to see across the biggest leagues.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2018, with the headline 'Asia's key role in European football'. Subscribe