Sports stars turned football club owners – including LeBron James’ Liverpool stake

Sir Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are now part of one consortium trying to take buy Chelsea, but if they’re successful they won’t be the only sports stars to hold stakes in football clubs.

From one of the biggest names in American sport holding a minor stake in one of the biggest football teams in the world, to several other NBA stars holding stakes in MLS teams.

It seems to be a particular pattern emerging in the United States with sports stars from their traditional major leagues seeing the potential in growth for Major League Soccer.

Players also use grabbing a share in their local soccer team as a way of enhancing their reputations in the community.

One former basketball star and legend of the NBA has also splashed out and taken part ownership of a Spanish team in La Liga!

Planet Sport looks at some of the top sporting stars to have crossed over to own a stake in a football club.

LeBron James – Liverpool

It’s King James meets King Kenny after the 18-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA champion took a minor stake in Liverpool.

The Los Angeles Lakers stars took up a small two percent share in The Reds back in 2011 for just $ 6.5million, which is now worth far more due to Liverpool’s success and growth.

James has been spotted at Anfield on numerous occasions and regularly wears their colors as a show of support – and often tweets out his reaction to big games for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

It’s been over a decade now of James’ investment in Liverpool so he was one of the very first huge stars to get involved – and the Reds have done pretty well since his time with them.

James increased his standing with Liverpool in 2021 when he became a partner at FSG following an injection of money from an investment firm, which has expanded his ownership stake at Anfield.

Steve Nash – Mallorca & Vancouver Whitecaps

Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash has many business interests since ending his playing days on the court, with one of his big loves being soccer.

The game runs in his blood, as his father was born in north London and is a Tottenham fan, like Nash, who has mooted in the past about the prospect of getting involved in the Premier League side.

For now, Nash, whose brother Martin played 38 times for Canada, has to make do with stakes in both the Vancouver Whitecaps and more interestingly Real Mallorca in Spain.

Nash was part of a group that bought a stake in the club that has plenty of other sporting names involved at executive level, with club president Andy Kohlberg being an American former pro tennis player.

Former Chelsea and Blackburn left-back Graeme Le Saux is also involved at Mallorca as a member of the board.

Malcolm Jenkins – Burnley

Two-time Super Bowl winner Malcolm Jenkins is a surprise name to pop up in terms of Burnley’s American ownership after taking up a minority stake in ALK Capital Investment.

Jenkins, who has won the NFL showpiece event with both the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, is a keen businessman off the field.

Jenkins visited Turf Moor in October 2021 after making the investment, and he’ll be hoping they can remain in the Premier League to protect that investment.

“I’m excited to enter this new relationship, as Burnley FC is known for its tenacity, work ethic, good sportsmanship and efficient operational infrastructure,” Jenkins said.

Patrick Mahomes – Sporting KC

One of the biggest stars in the NFL is one of the players who has decided to increase his roots with the local area by putting his money into the local MLS team.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has won the Super Bowl and is in the conversation for being the best player in the league.

The son of former Major League pitcher Pat Mahomes, the Chiefs QB had already invested in the Kansas City Royals baseball team before turning his attention to the soccer team.

Mahomes secured a stake in Sporting Kansas City, the local Major League Soccer side, and hopes to help the team and sport grow in the community.

Another NFL quarterback has also been splashing his cash to get involved in his local soccer team, but it’s now not so local for Seattle Sounders investor Russell Wilson.

Russell Wilson – Seattle Sounders

The Super Bowl winner along with his Grammy award-winning singer wife Ciara joined the ownership group of the Seattle Sounders in 2019.

Wilson, though, was traded to the Denver Broncos in the summer of 2022 so now has a long round-trip to see his side play in MLS.

James Harden & Oscar De La Hoya – Houston Dynamo

A boxer and an NBA star are both part of the varied ownership group of the Houston Dynamo in MLS.

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions picked up a 25 percent stake in the Houston side back in 2008, and he was a hands-on helper when they where building their new stadium.

NBA star James Harden then purchased a five percent stake in the Dynamo in July 2019 to join their star-studded group of owners.

Magic Johnson – LAFC

Speaking of NBA stars, they don’t come much bigger than Magic Johnson, who is one of many big names involved in the relatively new LAFC side in MLS.

The Los Angeles-based side have film star Will Ferrell as one of their more well-known investors, but there are many others including former womens’ soccer legend Mia Hamm.

The Black and Gold certainly have a list of investors worthy of a team based near Hollywood.

Kevin Durant – Philadelphia Union

And yet another NBA star on the list, with Kevin Durant announcing in the summer of 2020 that he’d taken a stake in MLS side Philadelphia Union.

The two-time NBA champion bought an initial five percent share in the Union, with a further five percent also possible in the future.

Durant is a big soccer fan and tried to previously take a share in DC United, but now Philadelphia is his team.

Read more: Players who have gone on to own football clubs – David Beckham, Ronaldo, Zlatan …

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