Mittal tops football rich list

HIS stake might not even be in a top flight club, but when it comes to financial clout Lakshmi Mittal is in a league of his own.<br /><br />The Indian steel magnate, who owns 20 per cent of Championship side QPR, is now the richest man in British football, according to the latest research.<br /><br />Mittal is estimated to be worth &pound;18.4bn, an amount that has rocketed in recent months thanks to the rising value of his company Arcelor-Mittal. That boom has hoisted him above Manchester City kingpin Sheikh Mansour, who is part of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and has a &pound;17bn fortune, and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.<br /><br />Unlike those two, who have funded gargantuan spending sprees at their respective clubs, Mittal has adopted a low profile since investing in the west London outfit in late 2007 with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, who is eighth, and Italian motorsport mogul Flavio Briatore. Russian oligarch Abramovich, whose wealth has swelled to &pound;7.8bn, is third in the annual list published yesterday by football magazine Four Four Two.<br /><br />Joe Lewis, the money behind Tottenham, is fourth with &pound;2.5bn, slightly ahead of north London rival Stan Kroenke, who has amassed &pound;2.1bn and is the largest shareholder at Arsenal.<br /><br />And Kroenke&rsquo;s nemesis at the Gunners, Russian metals tycoon and rival shareholder Alisher Usmanov, is ninth with a &pound;1.3bn fortune, two places behind Malcom Glazer, whose family own Manchester United.<br /><br />Former England captain David Beckham is the richest player on the list, with a &pound;125m kitty gleaned from a glorious career and a swathe of lucrative endorsements, and shares a United connection with the other existing stars on the list.<br /><br />The next four richest players &ndash; Michael Owen (&pound;38m), Wayne Rooney (&pound;37m), Rio Ferdinand (&pound;30m) and Ryan Giggs (&pound;24m) &ndash; all ply their trade at Old Trafford, where Beckham made his name.<br /><br />United boss Sir Alex Ferguson (&pound;22m), however, is eclipsed in the manager stakes by his former captain Roy Keane, who is currently clinging onto the Ipswich hot-seat. Keane, who raked in much of his &pound;27m during his playing career, is second only to England head coach Fabio Capello (&pound;30m), with Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti (&pound;17m) and Notts County chief Sven-Goran Eriksson (&pound;15m) making up the rest of the top five.