Tom Brady, Minority Stakeholder in Birmingham City FC – Why Are Americans Investing in EFL Teams?

Tom Brady, Minority Stakeholder in Birmingham City FC – Why Are Americans Investing in EFL Teams?

The US has never paid much attention to football, or soccer as they would call it. This has all changed recently. The US domestic league, the MLS, is growing in popularity, and we’re seeing a marked increase in US-based fans of European teams, particularly teams in England.

This week, football fans were stunned to hear that NFL star Tom Brady had purchased a stake in Championship side Birmingham City. What will this mean for the club and what does it mean for growing American influence in football?

American Investors in English Football

The concept of American investors in English football is nothing new. The most well-known is probably the Glazers, who have owned a majority stake in Manchester United since 2005. Todd Boehly is another high-profile majority shareholder; he owns a stake in Chelsea.

However, there are another eight Premier League clubs with significant US investment, including Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Fulham, and Liverpool.

Given how lucrative these clubs are and how much money there is in the Premier League, it’s no surprise that we’ve seen interest from overseas. However, for the most part, these US investors have been silent partners, having little to do with the football aspect of club operations.


In November 2020, the world responded with amusement and bemusement to the news that US entertainment stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney had purchased Wrexham, a club based in North Wales that had been languishing at the very bottom of the football pyramid.

However, the club soon found a new lease of life, and the takeover inspired a loyal fanbase and players alike to spur the club to new heights. In 2023, Wrexham lifted their first league title in 45 years and gained promotion to League Two.

Tom Brady and Birmingham City

Birmingham City have been in the second division of English football for a number of years. A mid-bottom table regular, they rarely top the Championship odds charts.

Americans in football have always been treated with suspicion. However, Wrexham proved that the partnership could work, which is why so many Birmingham City fans were delighted when the news broke this week that NFL star Tom Brady had bought a share in the club.

Tom Brady is one of the world’s most celebrated and lauded athletes. He has won seven Super Bowl titles, more than any other player, and is widely regarded as the greatest NFL player of all time.

Birmingham City Chairman Tom Wagner, another American, detailed in a social media announcement that Brady was being brought on board to help the club actualise its desire for success and to accelerate modernisation in training and nutrition.

It would seem that Brady will exist in a different capacity when compared to the American owners of Wrexham, who exist largely as figureheads but have still helped the club immeasurably.

What Does This Mean for the Future of Football?

The English game is the richest and most powerful in the footballing world. The incredible finances have brought attention from across the globe, not least from the US.

There have long been American investors in English football, but these have largely been unknown figures who remain semi-anonymous in the eyes of supporters. However, with Wrexham and Birmingham City we are seeing a new trend, celebrity owners who are using their profile and their financial power to transform lower league teams, perhaps in the hope of turning them into the next Liverpool or Manchester City.


Tom Brady’s announcement as a shareholder of Birmingham City was a surprise, but given the way English football is going, it was hardly unexpected. We can expect to see similar US involvement in English football in the future.

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