Lon­don’s Wealth is Chang­ing the Pre­mier League For­eign in­vestors pre­fer clubs in or around the cap­i­tal, and th­ese clubs now pop­u­late the top tier

The Economic Times - - Sports: The Great Games -

and only six from the North West. That leaves al­most half the divi­sion filled with teams from Lon­don and nearby ar­eas, and from Eng­land’s af­flu­ent south coast. When Gino Pozzo — scion of the fam­ily that has long owned the Ital­ian team Udi­nese — was look­ing for an English club to buy, he con­sid­ered sev­eral fac­tors. “The pro­file of the club, the fan base, the po­ten­tial for growth,” all came into con­sid­er­a­tion, he said. “But just as with any busi­ness, geog­ra­phy is im­por­tant.”

He and his fa­ther, Gi­ampaolo, looked at a num­ber of prospec­tive teams but ul­ti­mately set­tled on Wat­ford, on the north­ern edge of Lon­don’s ur­ban sprawl. “Be­ing close to

—Getty Im­ages Lon­don has a lot of ad­van­tages, and in a glob­al­ized game, you have to try to find as many as you can,” he said.

Prin­ci­pally, Pozzo said, Lon­don ap­peals to over­seas play­ers. Lon­don’s pull on im­ported play­ers is well es­tab­lished. In 2014, Alexis Sánchez ac­knowl­edged that he turned down a move to Liver­pool in favour of Ar­se­nal be­cause he pre­ferred to live in the city.

It is not just play­ers, how­ever, who are drawn south. That is where the money is, some­thing recog­nised by both Manch­ester clubs and Liver­pool, all of whom now boast com­mer­cial of­fices in the cap­i­tal, an ac­cep­tance that their most

Chelsea play­ers af­ter win­ning the 2016-2017 Pre­mier League ti­tle Ev­ery­thing from the land value to ticket prices is higher in Lon­don, mak­ing any club a more lu­cra­tive in­vest­ment

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