Football Club Owners – What are they like ?

January is generally a pretty boring month for football. The Champions League has gone into hiatus and the FA Cup has barely got started. One of the League Cup semi finals is all over already and the only question is whether Man United can avoid humiliation to Sunderland. The transfer window is failing to provide anything like the kind of entertainment predicted by the media and our only source of intrigue comes from the extraordinary ego driven battles for supremacy between the owners, chairmen and managers of a number of mid to low ranking Premier League clubs.

The latest shenanigans come from Southampton, a club that has had its fair share of owner / chairman / manager issues in the past. The latest development has seen chairman Nicola Cortese, the man who many people believe is the main reason for Southampton’s extraordinary rise from League 1 to at one point 3rd in the Premier League. This view is not shared by club legend Matt Le Tissier who seems to think that only Cortese himself believes it.

Cortese also oversaw the departures of Alan Pardew and Nigel Adkins despite considerable opposition from the fans as both managers brought success to the club. The case of Adkins was particularly controversial as he had overseen two back to back promotions. Cortese brought in the relatively ( in this country at least ) unknown Maricio Pochettino who quickly quelled any voices of opposition by firing Southampton to the upper reaches of the Premier League with a squad of mostly home based players, an achievement almost unheard of these days.

Cortese was an Italian banker who was asked by German businessman Markus Liebherr to  find him a football club to buy. Cortese recommended the Saints and when the purchase went through was made chairman. If any football fan were to use astrology to pick their ideal club owner, the likelihood is that they’d pick Liebherr. Despite the problems of being born in the spring of 1948 when a Mars / Saturn / Pluto conjunction plagued everyone, Liebherr had a football chart to die for. In sport the most important personal planets are the Sun, Moon and Mars. Markus Liebherr had all three of them in a remarkable flowing and beneficent Grand Trine aspect. All three were in Fire signs, the Sun in Aries, Mars in Leo and the Moon in Sagittarius. Liebherr was a wealthy benefactor but unlike many rich people who seem to think acquiring a football club is a way to get richer still ( Gillett and Hicks etc ) he was a genuine football fan.

Perhaps even more importantly, Liebherr’s astrological relationship with Cortese was special. Cortese’s Sun is exactly conjunct Liebherr’s Mars and his Mars is in flowing trine aspect to Liebherr’s Sun. Both Moons are also involved, Liebherr’s being also trine Cortese’s Sun and Cortese’s aspecting Liebherr’s Sun, Moon and Mars. This is undoubtedly a match made in heaven and surely the most perfect astrological match up between owner and chairman in history. The only problem was that Markus Liebherr died of a heart attack in August 2010, only a year after buying Southampton.

The ownership passed onto Liebherr’s daughter, Katharina. Capricorn research has not yet been able to find any birth details for Katharina but one thing’s for sure, if she has a Grand Trine, it sure as hell doesn’t make such wonderful aspects to Cortese’s planets.

One difficult aspect in Nicola Cortese’s chart is a T Square between the Moon / Mars and Saturn. With the Sun and Mars in Leo, Cortese is bound to see himself as the man in charge. The Tsquare with an apex Saturn would inevitably bring him into conflict with certain types of other authority figures. From the end of 2011 to most of 2012, Saturn moved to a point in the Zodiac in opposition to its natal place, thus creating an extremely difficult Grand Cross aspect that would have brought into focus and amplified Cortese’s difficulties with such figures. This came to a head this last Autumn when Saturn was in square to his Sun, and during this transit Cortese made his difficulties with Katharina Liebherr public and presumably took the decision to leave Southampton.

The situation at Cardiff really beggars belief. The owner, Vincent Tan, has put some money into the club but many of the Cardiff fans will feel his main contribution has been to change the clubs colours from blue to red and to attempt to change the name of the club to Cardiff Dragons. Tan’s reasons for these changes are that the colour red and name dragon are viewed as being much more auspicious in his native Malaysia and in other countries in the far east and would consequently attract more investment and overseas support. The vast majority of Cardiff fans have disagreed strongly with these changes.

Tan’s next step was to remove Cardiff manager Malky Mackay’s trusted head of player recruitment, Iain Moody and attempt to replace him with someone who had no experience in football. This was viewed by many as an attempt to undermine Mackay himself and to perhaps even force his resignation. At the end of 2013, the popular Mackay was sacked by Cardiff despite his achievements in taking the club up to the Premier League last May.

Unfortunately Vincent Tan is another owner whose birth data is not available apart from the suggestion that he was born in February 1952. This is nowhere near enough to come up with any sort of chart for him but it is true that throughout this month there was a T Square between Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus and its quite possible that this was turned into a very difficult Grand Cross by aspects from the Moon, Mercury or Venus. If he was born towards the end of the month he would have a Piscean Sun and he would quite possibly have been experiencing a transit of Neptune over his Sun which would tend to promote a loosening of one’s grasp of reality.

In any respect, Tan has replaced Mackay with Ole Gunnar Solksjaer who does have the Sun in early Pisces and is just about to experience the said Neptune transit. Neptune, as has been mentioned in this blog before, is not a comfortable fit for football, it is more at home in the charts of artists and religious people. Its effects as far as football managers are concerned, seem to be mainly in terms of destabilisation. The rug is often pulled out from under one’s feet during this transit and it seems to be closely connected with the accusation of having lost the dressing room.

As a Piscean, Solksjaer would probably have the view that he would be able to work well in situations that are by their very nature unstable. Neptune’s coming transit to his Sun may well prove that to be displaced optimism. Cardiff are sliding quickly towards the relegation zone and the manager’s transits do not give much cause to believe they can get out of it.

Over at Hull the antics of owner Assem Allam have been having a similar affect on the support. Allam has put to the FA a proposal to change the club name to Hull Tigers, presumably for the same reasons that Tan wanted to change Cardiff City to the Dragons. Allam has threatened to quit Hull if his proposals are not ratified and in the light of negative reactions from the Hull support and in the media, has come out with statements that insist that nobody has the right to question his business decisions.

Capricorn Research does have birth data for Allam and is not at all surprised to find that this figure, who seems to believe so strongly in his own omnipotence and divine right to make his own rules, has the Sun in Leo.  This is only the start, however as Allam has the Sun in conjunction to a powerful and domineering Pluto. Pluto is also part of a very powerful T Square in opposition to Mars and apex onto Saturn. This T square has similarities to that of Nicola Cortese although the planets involved in Allam’s are certainly more powerful and aggressive. The threat to walk away if his authority is questioned is something that he has in common with Cortese.

Allam also has another T Square between Mercury, the Moon and Uranus and the fact that Saturn is making a Grand Cross to these planets over the rest of this season indicates that it is very likely that Allam will follow through with his threat. It’s amazing that Hull manager, Steve Bruce has managed to steer the club so well through the first half of the season under these conditions but that is probably due to his own extremely positive transits at the moment.

These three clubs have provided much of the entertainment recently but it is interesting to look at the charts of some of the other club owners to see if we can unearth astrological patterns of behaviour.

Malcolm Glazer has the Sun in Gemini but before anyone is tempted to think of him as a lightweight they should consider a powerful Leo Moon and a very assertive and dynamic exact Mars / Uranus conjunction in Aries.
Many pundits commented that it was strange that Alex Ferguson got on with him as the manager came from a hard working socialist background particularly since Glazer funded his purchase of the club by capitalist methods that many supporters have questioned. Ferguson always praised the Glazers whenever the question was asked. Perhaps similarities in their birthcharts could explain this unusual alliance. Glazer’s Sun is in Ferguson’s Moon sign, a classic aspect of sympathy and support between any two people in a relationship. They also both have the extremely competitive Mars in Aries a placing that gave Ferguson so much of his legendary powers to push his players to greater achievements. Mars in Aries more than any other astrological placing inspires the individual to get out there and fight for what they want. Glazer and Ferguson have much more in common than people might think.

There is a connection between Glazer’s Moon and David Moyes’ Mars in Leo but there is nothing between either Sun and Moon so there is no natural fit in the relationship.

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has a fiery combination of Leo Sun with Moon in Sagittarius. Like Glazer he has a Mars / Uranus conjunction this time in Gemini. Again this is a chart of a man with tremendous energy but he also has the Sun conjunct Saturn which would hold some of this in check. Sun / Saturn people often have a seriousness about them and a sense of remoteness. As a Leo with a Sagittarius Moon he is clearly in charge but is also happy to hold the reins from a distance.

There are no sympathetic contacts between the charts of Kroenke and Arsene Wenger. In fact the only major one of note is the difficult square aspect between Wenger’s Scorpio Moon and Kroenke’s Sun. The feeling is that they tolerate each other but there is no real connection.

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov is a different kettle of fish. He also has Mars in Leo this time in close conjunction to the dynamic Pluto, so he is a powerful explosive force on his own. Usmanov however is a Sun and Moon Virgo, a sign that is quite cool and analytical but often tends to take a back seat and does much of the hard work behind the scenes. Usmanov’s Moon is in square to Kroenke’s Moon so they would instinctively not see eye to eye. Usmanov’s Moon in Virgo fits his image with Arsenal quite well as he’s often seen to be a figure criticising from behind the scenes. Usmanov does not have any particularly strong contacts with Wenger’s chart, however so a change of owner at Arsenal would not necessarily bring Arsene much help.

Talking of powerful figures that keep a deliberately low profile, we come to the man who changed the whole landscape of football club owners, Roman AbramovichAbramovich has a Scorpio Sun and Scorpios are generally emotionally powerful people who manage to keep a strong level of image control. No one would guess what they really think and feel from their outward expression. Abramovich also has the Moon in Pisces so he would be a naturally retiring figure, certainly not looking to use the club as a vehicle for his own public image. As a personality he could not be any more different from that of manager Jose Mourinho whose Sun and Moon in Aquarius create the media darling that we all know so well. Mourinho is a natural in front of the cameras.

When Abramovich first took over the club, his motivation for doing so was seriously questioned and some people even suggested it might be that having such a profile as owner of Chelsea may save him from getting into trouble in Putin’s Russia. Abramovich has overseen the comings and goings of a great number of managers including Mourinho himself in his decade as Chelsea’s owner but few people would now doubt his commitment to the club both financially and as a fan.

Talk of money brings us to Man City owner Sheikh Mansour. Mansour is another extremely rich Scorpio who appears to be quite content to pump obscene amounts of money into his chosen club whilst at the same time keeping his distance and avoiding media appearances. Many people have also questioned his motivation and some have suggested it may be to do with attempting to gloss over issues closer to home, but most have seen it as being tied up with the rapidly growing obsession with football in general and the Premier League in particular in the Middle East.

As such a powerful figure Mansour does have the Moon in Leo. There is a sympathetic relationship between the major features of his chart and that of City manager Manuel Pellegrini. Both their Moons are in trine aspect and their Suns are in sextile, both are aspects of harmony and ease. There are no connections at all between the major planets in Mansour’s chart and that of Roberto Mancini the previous manager which may help to explain his departure.

These mega rich owners are an interesting breed. Some of them manage to run their clubs smoothly from a distance but some of them appear to make decisions that seriously make you question how on earth they managed to acquire such vast sums of money in the first place. One really intriguing fact is that so many of the people mentioned above have either the Sun or Moon in Leo, many of them have Mars there as well. Leo is a wonderful sign in many respects but too much of it particularly when the aspects to the Leo planets are difficult ( which is the case for most of these guys ) can result in megalomaniac tendencies and a view of their own authority as being by divine right. A club owner with a strong Leo would be inclined to run his club in much the same way as a medieval monarch would their kingdom. Leos are often quite simple souls and if you give them due deference will reward you with all kinds of bounty, but if you question any of their business decisions you could easily find yourself on the way to the Tower of London.

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