With the football season heading to it's conclusion, it's nearly time to focus on the end of season awards.
The PFA Player of the Year, the PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Team of the Year and Manager of the Year are the common awards given out at the end of the football season, but there could easily be one more award added.
Last month in the United States, Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke was nominated for a ‘sports executive of the year award’, so maybe it is time for a similar award in this country. Maybe it is time for a Football Owner Of The Year (FOOTY) award to go to the outstanding Premier League club owner over the past season.
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So here, in alphabetical order, are four potential nominees for Best Football Owner Of The Year 2016:
Arsenal - Stan Kroenke & Alisher Usmanov
With business-like efficiency, Arsenal had achieved an 18th consecutive year in a top four Champions League spot and this was their 6th consecutive season being knocked out in the last-16 of the competition.
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Unfortunately there was no third consecutive FA Cup this year as consolation, but their fellow big guns, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United, will all be kicking themselves as they admire such consistency.
However some Arsenal fans are asking for economics graduate Arsene Wenger to leave, but the club's second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov has described the Frenchman as the club’s “biggest asset” and backed him to make his own succession plans.
Leicester City - Thai Father & Son
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha (Khun Vichai) and son Aiyawatt are in charge of Leicester City and after being promoted to the Premier League in 2014 their grand plan was to make the top-five within three years.
After the miraculous escape from certain relegation in 2015 they stuck to the master-plan and invested in the playing squad and are now seven points clear at the top of the Premier League after being seven points adrift of relegation just 12 months earlier.
Buddhist monks visit regularly to bless the club’s fortunes while travelling abroad means a private jet for the players with private cabin, reclining bed, and a personal attendant. Vichai’s birthdays mean free beer and doughnuts for the fans and the owners always attend matches, leaving the King Power stadium via helicopter from the centre-circle.
What’s not to like?
Tottenham Hotspur - Daniel Levy
Daniel Levy has reinvested the money from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid wisely creating a mix of youth and experience – a policy that also extends to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs have taken advantage of the implosion of the established top-four and the race for the Premier League title has taken the focus away from the achievement of Champions League football, but Spurs are ready to pounce and be crowned champions if Leicester do finally slip up.
By not rushing to give Pochettino an extended contract, investment-guru Levy remains the man in charge and he can safely plan to capitalize on a top-four spot for years to come.
West Ham - David Gold & David Sullivan
After a private plane they were due to fly in crashed killing the two pilots in October 2015, David Gold and David Sullivan have been focused on winning football matches rather than grand ambitions.
That said, manager Slaven Bilic has stated that West Ham would rather win the FA cup than get in the top four, but they could conceivably achieve both prizes this season. The owners have kept a tight rein on the purse strings and in Bilic they have an ex-Hammer with a deep love for the club.
The two Davids are also not rushing to give a winning manager a new contract after less than a year in charge, but aim to take the next step by buying a top striker like Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They have no need or desire to sell their star players and have warned their rivals that the top four will never be the same again.
Sullivan has also recruited ex-Everton talent spotter Tony Henry who “offered me [Cristiano] Ronaldo for £6m at Birmingham about 12 years ago, just before he went to Man United” and is hoping for a second chance at being lucky.
So there are four Premier League owners that could possibly win an end of season award.
Which one would you vote for? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!
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