Top 10 Best English Football Owners Revealed

Last week Against League 3 polled 3,376 fans from 139 different clubs in search of English football’s best and worst owner. Responses were averaged against the number of supporters who replied to give an overall rating and ratings on communication, financial responsibility, football operations, stadium upkeep/responsibility, treatment of fans and transparency. Full results can be viewed HERE.

Here is who YOU voted the best owners in English football:

1st Place – Andy Holt – Accrington Stanley

Overall rating: 99.63/100

Communication: 8.50/10

Finance: 8.63/10

Football Operations: 8.44/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 8.50/10

Treatment of fans: 8.69/10

Transparency: 8.56/10

Accrington Stanley Chairman Andy Holt has topped our 2018 Ownership Survey to earn the title of English Football’s Best Owner.

Andy received an approval rating of 99.63/100 from Stanley fans.

Andy first committed to the stadium sponsorship at the Crown Ground in 2015 with Holt’s What More UK group taking out a £200,000 sponsorship to see the ground renamed the “Wham Stadium”. Holt then took control of the club later that year in October.

In 2015, during an Accrington shareholders meeting to decide on Holt’s takeover offer, he told the room: “Whatever individual, company or other entity owns the club is largely irrelevant, because this isn’t a business venture. Has anyone ever made a profit out of Accrington Stanley? In 50 years I will be dust blowing in the wind. Hopefully our input will mean the club is not.”

On his two year anniversary of his takeover, Holt told the club’s website: “So the bar ran dry. And when I say dry, I mean dry. I don’t mean a bit dry – if you turned the tap on at the sink it wouldn’t run. It was dry. I’m telling you now it was like the Gobi Desert in there.

“It (the club) was in bad shape. It hadn’t paid wages to the players. It couldn’t pay wages if it wanted to because the bank would only let it pay £20,000 out in a day and wages are £100,000 so they weren’t all getting paid at the same time – it was a lottery. The club needed a clean slate – despite the heroic efforts of the previous owners and directors to keep it afloat.”

In 2018 Accrington beat Luton Town to the EFL League 2 title by 5 points, with the club also recording their highest average home attendance through the season for 11 years.

We could not hope for a better or more responsible owner who is returning the club to the heart of the local community.

– Accrington Stanley survey response

Since his takeover of the club Andy has earned a reputation, among both Accrington fans and supporters of other clubs, as a transparent and open owner. Andy regularly posts his thoughts and holds discussions on his twitter account regarding his running of the club and issues of governance in the game. He was also named fcbusiness’ League 2 CEO of the Year for 2018.

Congratulations to Andy and all of his support staff at the Wham Stadium.


2nd Place – Steve Easterbrook – Slough Town

Overall rating: 99.54/100

Communication: 8.10/10

Finance: 8.56/10

Football Operations: 8.48/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 8.52/10

Treatment of fans: 8.46/10

Transparency: 8.31/10

It’s possible that most who read this piece may not have heard of Slough Town’s Steve Easterbrook, but make no mistake Slough’s chairman and owner should act as a shining example of how to run a football club for the benefit of its fans and local community.

Steve Easterbrook took the club from certain doom to success and sustainability. Working around the clock to provide the very best future for the club. At home matches you will struggle to find a volunteer doing more than him; on the gate, behind the bar and emptying the bins, there is nothing that is beneath him. No Slough Town fan would ever swap him for any other owner.

– Slough Town survey response

Having played without a permanent home for years outside the actual borders of Slough, Easterbrook masterminded a new stadium for the club in the town for the first time in over a decade, and solidified a debt-ridden club struggling at the bottom of the division into a competitive force, eventually securing promotion to the National League South.


3rd Place – Srivaddhanaprabha Family / King Power – Leicester City

Overall rating: 98.57/100

Communication: 7.71/10

Finance: 8.71/10

Football Operations: 8.57/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 8.71/10

Treatment of fans: 8.86/10

Transparency: 7.57/10

Architect of one of the greatest fairytales in football history, owner Vinchai Srivaddhanaprabha had always been well received by the Leicester City faithful for his running of the club.

Greatest owners in the world, who have made our club what it is today #RIPVichai

Leicester City survey response

In November 2018 the football world watched on in horror as a helicopter leaving the King Power Stadium crashed killing all 5 people on board including Vincent Srivaddhanaprabha.

4th Place – Luton 2020 – Luton Town

Overall rating: 97.73/100

Communication: 8.30/10

Finance: 8.53/10

Football Operations: 8.43/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 8.13/10

Treatment of fans: 8.49/10

Transparency: 8.34/10

5th Place – John Radford – Mansfield Town

Overall rating: 95.95/100

Communication: 7.88/10

Finance: 8.29/10

Football Operations: 8.16/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 7.83/10

Treatment of fans: 8.12/10

Transparency: 7.96/10

6th Place – Tony Bloom – Brighton & Hove Albion

Overall rating: 95.70/100

Communication: 7.50/10

Finance: 7.70/10

Football Operations: 7.80/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 8.30/10

Treatment of fans: 7.00/10

Transparency: 6.50/10

7th Place – Dean Hoyle – Huddersfield Town

Overall rating: 94.70/100

Communication: 8.60/10

Finance: 9.00/10

Football Operations: 8.30/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 7.50/10

Treatment of fans: 8.60/10

Transparency: 8.50/10

8th Place – Matthew Benham – Brentford

Overall rating: 93.95/100

Communication: 7.50/10

Finance: 9/10

Football Operations: 8.30/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 7.50/10

Treatment of fans: 8.60/10

Transparency: 8.50/10

9th Place – Stewart Donald – Sunderland

Overall rating: 91.85/100

Communication: 9.08/10

Finance: 8.38/10

Football Operations: 8.38/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 8.92/10

Treatment of fans: 8.85/10

Transparency: 8.92/10

10th Place – Mark and Nicola Palios – Tranmere Rovers

Overall rating: 90.96/100

Communication: 7.19/10

Finance: 7.40/10

Football Operations: 7.09/10

Stadium development/upkeep: 6.96/10

Treatment of fans: 7.45/10

Transparency: 7.02/10


Check Also

2019 Ownership Survey – Full Results

At the end of 2019 Against League 3 polled 3,065 fans from 141 different clubs …

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