Seven Nigerians who own local, international football clubs
Some Nigerian business owners are investing in football as it is becoming a very lucrative business.
Here are seven Nigerians who own local, international football clubs:
1. Kunle Soname (club C.D. Feirense, Portugal and Remo Stars, Nigeria)
Kunle Soname is a politician, entrepreneur, sport enthusiast and the chairman of Bet9ja, a betting website he founded in 2013.
He is the owner of European club C.D. Feirense, which he bought in 2015.
Remo Stars Football Club previously known as FC DENDER was also founded by Soname in 2004.
The club was then relocated from Lagos State to Remo area of Ogun State, and is now playing in the Nigerian Premier League’s Top Division.
He is the founder of the private Nigerian airline ValueJet.
2. Shola Akinlade (Aarhus Fremad, Denmark and Sporting Lagos FC, Nigeria)
Shola Akinlade, the co-founder and CEO of Paystack (now Stripe), is the owner of Danish club Aarhus Fremad and Sporting Lagos FC.
The 38-year-old bought a 55 percent stake in the 76-year-old Danish club, which plays in the second-division of the Danish League, making him the majority owner.
Presently, the club are second of the Danish second division with four points, with the hope of securing qualification to the Danish first division next season.
In 2022, Shola founded Sporting Lagos FC, a Lagos-based football club that competes in the Nigeria National League.
The purchase of Aarhus means that the Danish club will become a sister club to Sporting Lagos. Before Shola purchased the Danish club, it was experiencing financial difficulties. The club reported a two million kroner ( about eighty nine million Naira) loss over the previous two years in its most recent financial report.
3. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah (F.C. Ifeanyi Ubah, Nigeria)
Businessman and politician, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, founded the NPFL club “Ifeanyi Ubah FC” in the year 2015.
The club which has its headquarters at Nnewi, Anambra State, was founded following the acquisition of Gabros international Football Club by Sen. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.
F.C. Ifeanyi Ubah is one of the few privately run football clubs in the country.
4. Nneka Ede (Lusitano Ginásio Clube, Portugal)
Nigerian entrepreneur, Nneka Ede, is the first Nigerian woman to acquire a club in Europe.
She is the owner of Portuguese clubside, Lusitano Ginásio Clube, MHC, also known as Lusitano de Évora.
The club is based in Évora and competes in the Campeonato de Portugal, the Portuguese football system’s fourth-tier league.
Mrs. Ede’s ownership of the 110-year-old team in Portugal’s third division began in June 2020.
The club’s home stadium, Estádio do Lusitânia in Lourosa, has a total capacity of 10,000 people.
5. Daniel K. Olukoya (MFM FC, Nigeria)
The MFM Football Club was founded in 2007 by the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, a popular deliverance church, whose founder and General Overseer is no other person but Dr. Daniel K. Olukoya.
On 31 August 2015, MFM FC was promoted to the Nigeria Premier League.
The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club of Lagos won the maiden edition of The Church World Cup.
The Nigeria representatives achieved this feat after defeating the United Church of Colombia 7–0 in the final of the mundial which took place in India.
6. Felix Obuah (Go Round FC, Nigeria)
Felix Obuah is the founder of Nigerian football club Go Round FC, which is located in Rivers State, Nigeria.
It was founded in 1994.
They play their home games at Krisdera Hotel Stadium, and currently compete in the NNL, the second-tier in Nigerian football.
7. Bukola Saraki (ABS FC, Kwara)
In 2011, former Senate President Bukola Saraki established the football club known as ABS FC, which is located in Ilorin.
The team is sometimes fondly known as “Bukola Babes.”
In 2016, the team returned to the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Recently, the team was relegated from the Nigeria National League(NNL) to Nationwide League One(NLO).