Some of these clubs are owned and financed by extremely rich owners while some generate a lot of revenue due to their success.
Football is a very lucrative sport that generates a lot of money. A club’s success can be determined by its financial strength. The richest football clubs in the world can boast of quality players, lucrative wages, standard facilities and infrastructures.
Like in other parts of the world, Africa also has some very rich football clubs. Some of these clubs are owned and financed by extremely rich owners while some generate a lot of revenue due to their success.
Some of the ways which African football clubs generate revenue includes sponsorship deals, ticket sales at games, selling players to foreign clubs, renaming stadiums after sponsors and winning competitions. Naturally, a club needs to spend some time winning laurels in order to identify itself as a marketable brand.
Likewise, the economy of a country can influence how much clubs can rake in. It is therefore unsurprising that the top richest clubs in Africa are from Northern and Southern Africa.
Possessing huge financial ability has made these clubs able to attract some of the best players on the continent and thereby guaranteeing more success.
In this piece, FootballOrbit presents you with the top 10 richest football clubs in Africa.
1. Al Ahly ($30m)
Al Ahly is the most successful football club in Egypt and in Africa. It has a record of 42 national league titles, 37 national cup titles and 11 national super cup titles, making it the most decorated club in Egypt.
The club has never been relegated from the Egyptian Premier League in history.
With 25 continental titles, Al Ahly is by far the most successful football club in Africa and was voted by CAF as the African Club of the 20th Century.
Furthermore, the club’s all-time trophy haul is the second largest in world football, behind only European giants Real Madrid.
Due to its success, the club regularly lands lucrative sponsorship deals; Al Ahly’s sponsors include WE (a subsidiary of Telecoms Egypt), SAIBank, GLC, Tiger and Shell Helix.
The club also has a huge fan base and its 90,000 capacity Cairo International Stadium is regularly filled up whenever it is playing home games.
2. Mamelodi Sundowns ($25m)
Mamelodi Sundowns is one of the biggest and richest football clubs in South Africa and Africa. They have won the Premier Soccer League title a record 12 times since its inception in 1996.
The Brazilians are currently the most successful football club in the South African PSL era.
They won the 2016 CAF Champions League, 2016 CAF Super Cup and were voted the 2016 CAF Club of the Year.
Mamelodi Sundowns are owned by Patrice Motsepe who is the richest man in South Africa and the current CAF President.
3. Kaizer Chiefs ($20m)
Nicknamed AmaKhosi, which means “Lords” or “Chiefs” in Zulu language, Kaizer Chiefs have won 12 league titles (four in the PSL era) and amazingly, over 50 total trophies.
They hold the most trophies amongst the other clubs in the PSL and are the most supported club in the whole Southern African region with an estimated 40 million fans.
Kaizer Chiefs are owned by Kaizer Motaung, a retired professional footballer.
4. Pyramids FC ($19m)
Pyramids FC was formed in 2008 as Al Assiouty Sport in Beni Seuf. Pyramids FC play their home matches at the 30 June Stadium.
The club first gained promotion to the Egyptian Premier League in 2014.
In the summer of 2018, the Chairman of the Saudi Sports Authority, Turki Al Sheikh, bought Al Assiouty Sport. Previously, he was the honorary president of Al Ahly. Al Sheikh resigned from his position following disagreements about signings and stadium construction, and bought Al Assiouty Sport.
The team’s name was subsequently changed to Pyramids FC and the club moved 400km to Cairo.
In 2019, a wealthy Emirati businessman, Salem Al Shamsi, acquired the ownership of Pyramids FC and has been investing a lot of money in the club since. This has pushed the club to the top and it is able to attract very good players.
Many past neutral fans in Cairo are now supporting Pyramids as the club now challenges regular giants, Al Ahly and Zamalek.
After finishing 3rd in the Egyptian Premier League in the 2018/19 season, Pyramids FC qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup — its first ever continental appearance.
In 2019/20, the club reached the CAF Confederation Cup final but lost 1-0 to RSB Berkane.
Pyramids FC is being sponsored by Puma and TikTok.
5. Club Africain ($18m)
Club Africain is a Tunisian club founded in 1920. It has several sports teams, including football, handball, basketball, swimming and volleyball.
The football team was the first Tunisian club to win an international trophy when they won the Maghreb Cup Winners Cup in 1971. Twenty years later (in 1991), Club Africain became the first Tunisian team to win the CAF Champions League.
Club Africain has a net worth of $18 million which makes them one of the richest football clubs in Africa and also affords them much spending power, hence their ability to buy quality players across Africa.
6. Zamalek FC ($15m)
Zamalek is another Egyptian giant and one of best football clubs in Africa. Its impressive achievements are normally overshadowed by that of its city rivals, Al Ahly.
It is one of two clubs that have played in every season of the Egyptian Premier League and one of 7 clubs that have never been relegated to the Egyptian Second Division.
Zamalek is currently being sponsored by Tempo, SAIB Bank, Lactel, Oppo and Molto.
The club also has a huge fan base which serves as another means of revenue through sales of matchday tickets and other club merchandise.
7. Orlando Pirates ($12m)
Orlando Pirates are the first club since the inception of the Premier Soccer League in 1996 to have won three major trophies in a single season back to back; having won the League, Nedbank Cup and the MTN 8 Cup in 2010/11 and the League, League Cup and the MTN 8 in 2011/12.
They are one of only two South African teams (alongside Mamelodi Sundowns) to have won the CAF Champions League — which they won in 1995. They were runners-up at the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup.
Since the founding of the club, Pirates have won 9 league titles and 33 trophies in total. With such success under their belt, it goes without saying that Orlando Pirates is one of the biggest football clubs in South Africa and the African continent.
The club is owned by Irvin Khoza — a South African businessman whose net worth is estimated to be around $35m.
8. Wydad Casablanca ($12m)
Wydad Athletics Club (otherwise popularly known as Wydad Casablanca) competes in the Botola, the top tier of Moroccan football league system. They are one of the only three clubs to have never been relegated from the Moroccan top flight.
Wydad is being sponsored by Kia Motors, Emirates Airlines and Macron among others.
9. TP Mazembe ($11m)
Tout Puissant Mazembe is the biggest and most successful football club in Congo. They are the perennial champions of the Congolese league and have also been winners of the CAF Champions League on 5 occasions. They have also won the CAF Confederations Cup twice and the Super Cup 3 times.
Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, a Congolese businessman and politician owns the club. Chapwe served as governor of the Katanga Province after emerging the first elected governor of the province. His net worth is estimated at $60 million.
10. Esperance ($10m)
Espérance Sportive de Tunis (also known as ES Tunis or Espérance ST) is a Tunisian football club based Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. The club was founded in 1919, making it the oldest active football club in Tunisia.
They play at the 60,000 capacity Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi. The club is one of the most popular clubs in Tunisia and is considered as one of the giants in Africa.
Espérance is the most successful Tunisian club; domestically, they have won 31 league titles, 15 Tunisian Cup and 6 Tunisian Super Cup, all of them national records.
The club has won a total of 52 domestic trophies, more than any other Tunisian football club.
At international level, Espérance has won a total of 13 titles, including 4 CAF Champions League titles, 1 CAF Cup title, 1 CAF Cup Winners’ Cup title, 1 CAF Super Cup title and one Afro-Asian Cup.
Espérance is owned by Hamdi Meddeb, one of the richest men in Tunisia.