Why billionaires and celebrities stumble to buy Chelsea FC
james lebron owns part of another Premier League side, Liverpool Football Club, but many other American A-listers are investing closer to home. Matthew McConaughey jumped at the chance to buy Austin FC, one of Major League Soccer’s newest franchises. He’s even the club’s self-proclaimed ‘culture minister’, a position whose responsibilities include, in McConaughey’s own words, ‘holding on to the DNA of who we are and why we love Austin’. He can be seen drumming on the sidelines of home games.
Natalie Portman, Jennifer Garner, Kevin Durant, Serena Williams, Will Ferrell, James Harden, Jessica Chastain, Ciara, Russell Wilson, Naomi Osaka, Magic Johnson, Drew Carey, Mia Hamm, Oscar de la Hoya, Marshawn Lynch, Diplo, Christina Aguilera, Alex Ovechkin, Kate Upton, Eva Longoria, Tony Robbins, and a slew of others joined McConaughey in turning “the beautiful game” into the sexiest celebrity investment.
Unsurprisingly, football and stardom don’t collide quite like Los Angeles. Will Ferrell, a lifelong footballer married to a former college player, co-owns MLS’s Los Angeles FC with Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm and husband Nomar Garciaparra, Robbins, a co-founder of YouTube, and a bunch of others who made a brick of money. Ferrell lays low at home games, letting his wardrobe do the talking. He often wears a pair of lucky gold pants or a t-shirt with the club’s chief security officer, a fan favorite at Banc of California Stadium.
For many celebrities, football represents a unique opportunity to invest in strong women, like the ones we’ve seen transcend the world of sport and become true stars and role models. It’s America. We like to be number one. And while our men’s national team has yet to dominate the world stage, our women have shown dynastic greatness since the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991.
Portman helped establish National Women’s Soccer League team Angel City FC after hearing that Abby Wambach— a generational talent, two-time gold medalist and World Cup champion — needed a job. Contrary to Peyton Manning or Kobe Bryant, fellow 2016 ESPYs Icon Award recipients, Wambach didn’t retire with a bunch of zeros in his bank account. Portman contacted the venture capitalist Kara Nortman hoping to join forces to bring professional women’s soccer to Los Angeles. Portman and Nortman, Hollywood’s newest and most rhyming couple, have recruited Serena Williams, Jessica Chastain, Christina Aguilera, America Ferrera, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Zoe, Jay Shetty, and Alexis Ohanian. Angel City FC will play their first-ever home game at Banc of California Stadium on April 29. Wambach has also joined the group as she continues to push for higher salaries, better working conditions and 401(k) plans to allow these athletes to retire comfortably. as do their male counterparts. Quite rightly, the greatest pioneer of gender equality in the world of sport, Billie Jean King, sits alongside Wambach in the Angel FC owners’ box.