Farhad Moshiri, Mike Ashley, Ken Bates and more of the most unpopular owners in football history
As Everton supremo Farhad Moshiri takes on the mantle of the most unpopular owner in English football, we take a look at others who have got on the wrong side of supporters.
For all it was Rafael Benitez who took the brunt of the flak from Everton fans this season, there can be little doubt that it is owner Farhad Moshiri who has turned the Toffees into a basketcase of a football club.
The Iranian has controlled Everton for six years now and, although he has spent heavily, his total lack of vision and pragmatism has seen the club hurtle backwards in that time.
Leicester City's Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha and Aston Villa's Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens come to mind as modern owners that serve their respective clubs well.
Sadly, good owners in soccer are quite rare. Bad ones often far outweigh the good guys. Over the years there have been endless stories of owners abusing their power and not taking the demands of supporters into account as they drag their clubs through the mud.
One good thing is that most of the owners on this list are no longer at their clubs. Though the impact of their actions are still being felt.
With that said, here are Planet Sport's worst owners in football, and we start with the most hated man in Newcastle.
Mike Ashley - Newcastle United (2007-2021)
The man behind the well-known British sportswear retailer Sports Direct became the owner of Newcastle United in 2007, buying Sir John Hall's 41% stake for more than £55million.
Back then, the club's supporters were hopeful that Ashley could restore the glory days for the Magpies - in the '90s, Newcastle finished second in back-to-back seasons in the Premier League.
Sadly, for the most part under Ashley, Newcastle went the other way. The highest they finished under him in the Premier League was fifth.
Under Ashley, Newcastle were relegated to the Championship twice with the remainder of their time in the top flight mostly spent lingering around the bottom half of the table.
Newcastle fans were in an almost constant state of protest against Ashley's ownership, blaming him for a failure to invest in the squad.
Chris Hughton and Benitez were well liked as managers of the club, yet they were limited by the philosophy of Ashley, who was determined to ensure the club lived within their means. As a policy it was sensible yet highly restrictive, and him splashing Sports Direct signs all around St James' Park without the club receiving sponsorship income only angered fans further.
A Saudi Arabian-based group has now bought Ashley out and made Newcastle the richest club in the world, but the anger twowards their former owner still runs deep.
Ken Bates - Chelsea (1982-2003)
Bates was in charge of Chelsea for 21 years after purchasing the financially stricken West London club for just £1 in 1982.
While Bates helped to stabilise Chelsea as a First Division club, he did not exactly have the best relationship with the club's supporters.
Bates regularly criticised the fans and, in 2002, described members of the Chelsea Independent Supporters Association as "parasites".
Earlier in the 1990s, Bates had a high-profile fallout with Matthew Harding, who at the time was Chelsea's vice-chairman, leading to Harding being banned from the club boardroom.
In 1996, Harding died in a helicopter crash. Despite the tragedy, it did not stop Bates from describing his former colleague as an "evil man" and he claimed that Chelsea were a "happier ship" without him.
Bates left Chelsea in 2003 when Roman Abramovich bought the club for around £140million. He later went on to take control of Partick Thistle and Leeds United with little success.
Craig Whyte - Rangers (2011-2012)
Whyte, a Rangers supporter, took over in 2011 from Sir David Murray. As part of the takeover deal, the club's debt was reassigned to Whyte's company, Liberty Capital.
At the time, Rangers had not been relegated from the top division in 121 years after dominating alongside Glasgow rivals Celtic.
Whyte's takeover led to their downfall, though. He relied on money from the supporters to gain control of Rangers and then he did not invest any of his own to help with Rangers' ongoing financial hardship.
In February 2012, Whyte put Rangers into administration and this led to their liquidation the following July.
Rangers were demoted to the Scottish Third Division ahead of the 2012/13 season, and they spent four years outside the top flight before returning in 2016.
It wasn't until 2020/21 that they could really say they were back however, Steven Gerrard leading them to their first Premiership title in ten years.
Venky family - Blackburn Rovers (2010-)
Blackburn were a club that lived the dream. They were bought by a local businessman who was more than happy to pump seemingly endless sums of money into the transfer coffers and it won them a Premier League title.
When those glorious Jack Walker, and Jack Walker Trust, years came to an end it was Indian poultry magnates the Venky family who purchased the club.
However, while they were blessed with plenty of enthusiasm for the task in hand, they had little actual expertise at running a football club.
A year after buying the club, they took Blackburn on a mid-season promotional tour of India. One of the club's ground staff reported that the grass on the pitch for an upcoming exhibition was too long. Later that day, he found an army of female Venkys employees on their hands and knees, beneath parasols, cutting the grass with scissors.
They look to be learning from their mistakes, however. Now in their 11th year of ownership, things are starting to look up with Tony Mowbray's team sitting third in the Championship.
Roland Duchatelet - Charlton Athletic (2014-2019)
Oyston Family - Blackpool (1988-2019)
The court ruled that the Oystons 'illegitimately stripped' Blackpool of £26.77million after moving it to their other companies. It was decided that money was owed to Belokon for his 20% investment in the club, plus a hefty compensation sum too. The Oystons didn't have it, so were forced to sell the club to settle the debt.
Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr - Liverpool (2007-2010)
Liverpool are one of the greatest institutions of English football, but it was brought to its knees by Hicks and Gillett Jr.
The judge ruled against the owners, branded them "untrustworthy", and ordered them to sell to Fenway Sports Group in a £300million deal that would see the pair lose more than £100million in loans.
The Allam family - Hull City (2010-2022)
Understandably, the plans met with strong opposition from fans (and not just of Hull), with an opposition group, "City Till We Die", prompting Allam to repond that they supporters involved "can die as soon as they want".
The FA subsequently rejected the Allams' request for the name change and the owners promised they would sell the club for a £1.
A controversial membership scheme further angered fans and with the relationship between the owners and the supporters fractured beyond repair, attendances plummeted and Hull were relegated to the third tier in 2020.
They bounced back by winning League One in 2021 and finally saw the back of the Allams in January 2022, with the Acun Ilicali-backed Acun Medya purchasing the club.