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Isle of Man residents make football's rich list

THREE Isle of Man business tycoons feature in a rich list compiled by Britain's leading football magazine.

The February issue of FourFourTwo magazine has a list of the 100 wealthiest individuals involved in the British game.

It includes players, club owners and shareholders.

While England and Newcastle United star Michael Owen languishes in 56th place with a mere 40m, the first Isle of Man resident to appear in the top 100 is the Sefton Group's Graham Ferguson Lacey who is in at equal 50th spot.

Mr Ferguson Lacey, 60, described in the list as a 'hotel owning evangelist' and a 'one-time paint and wallpaper salesman from Solihull', is a shareholder with Millwall FC.

The London club is currently pushing for promotion from League One.

FourFourTwo magazine says Mr Ferguson Lacey's personal fortune amounts to 90m and it describes him as being a controversial figure at the club, referring to a row between the club's board and shareholders over plans to redevelop the club's New Den ground.

At number 49 in the FourFourTwo list is another Ballasalla resident, Bolton Wanderers owner Eddie Davies.

Mr Davies, 62, is described as a 'kettle thermostat king struggling to bring his beloved trotters (Bolton Wanderer's nickname) to the boil'.

His personal fortune, much of it from his Strix business which made thermostat controls for kettles, is said to be 98m.

Mr Davies is one of a handful of British owners of Premier League clubs.

To find the third and highest placed Isle of Man resident in the FourFourTwo list you have to flick over a few pages after reading about Mr Davies.

Go past Robbie Williams, who has a stake in Port Vale, at number 45.

Then pass over Benetton co-founder Luciana Briatore who is at equal 39th because of his co-ownership of QPR.

Still no sign of the third Manx resident as we pass by David Beckham at number 38 with a miserly 125m in his designer manbag.

Elton John may only have a small fraction of his 235m fortune invested in Watford FC these days but it's enough to get him into 28th spot in the list.

Porn magnate and Birmingham City owner David Sullivan is at 20th and Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed at 18th.

Finally, at 13th place in the list, we find Andreas resident Trevor Hemmings whose whopping 900m fortune is helping prop up Preston North End, who are attempting to catch Wolverhampton Wanderers in a bid for a place in the Premier League next season.

Mr Hemmings's Isle of Man residency is mentioned in his brief biography in the FourFourTwo list, unlike Mr Ferguson Lacey and Mr Davies whose home locations are not included.

Mr Hemmings, 73, made his money in the leisure industry and as a racehorse owner and is described in the magazine as 'publicity shy'.

At number one in the FourFourTwo rich list is Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan who has a personal fortune of 15billion.

The FourFourTwo magazine rich list includes a five-point guide on how the list was put together.

To calculate the relative wealth of those on the list reference was made to the Fame and Dash databases which give researchers access to Companies House files.

Reference was also made to The Sunday Times Rich List and Forbes magazine.

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