Swapping Football For Football: JJ Watt To Invest In EPL Team Burnley FC

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Recently retired NFL defensive end JJ Watt is swapping football for football. He’s investing in Burnley F.C. of the English Premier League.

Watt and his wife, Kealia, posted a video that explained their plans to become minority investors in the EPL club.

“Look, I’ve only been retired for about four months,” Watt said. “But I really need something to do.”

The video had plenty of jokes shoehorned into it (luckily for them, they got this thing made before the writers’ strike). Still, the message was simple: the Watts are investing in European football.

“We don’t have ‘buy an entire European football club’ kind of money. We’re more along the lines of minority investment, but massive emotional investment.”

He’s right, that kind of investment is pricey. ALK Capital, an American consortium paid, £170 million in 2020 for an 84% stake in the team according to the Daily Mail. Today, that’s over $212 million

While Watt did well for himself — he earned well over $100 million during his NFL career — that’s not enough to buy the whole team.

Burnley FC Turf Moor
Expect to see JJ and Kealia Watt at Turf Moor, Home of Burnley FC. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Watts Are The Latest Celebrity Soccer Owners

It makes sense that Watt and his wife would invest in soccer. His wife is a professional soccer player after all. But it also speaks to the growing trend of celebrities investing in sports.

They even mentioned it in the video, but actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney found enormous success purchasing Wrexham FC, a Welsh soccer team several rungs below the Premier League. Their success was chronicled in a documentary series.

Reynolds is also part of a group to purchase the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. That group is expected to offer more than $1 billion for the team.

In the US, a slew of celebrities including Will Ferrell, Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm Garciaparra, and Nomar Garciaparra are part of the ownership group for the MLS’ LAFC.

We’ll have to see if the Watts’ investment in the team helps its popularity stateside, but it sure seems like it could.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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