Tom Brady joins a growing cast of American A-listers to invest in English football with his minority stake in Championship side Birmingham City – but who are the other stars bringing their millions to these shores?

The A-list American takeover of English football continued on Thursday with the shock announcement of NFL legend Tom Brady’s minority ownership of Championship outfit Birmingham City. 

The seven-time Super Bowl champion has become the chairman of an advisory board working with Blues chiefs and promised to bring his winning ethos to St Andrew’s. 

The 46-year-old’s move makes him the latest personality from across the pond to invest in English football following the San Francisco 49ers led takeover of Leeds last month. 

And the likes of Hollywood actor Michael B Jordan buying a stake in Bournemouth and the famous north Wales double act of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. 

Mail Sport takes a look at some of the most prominent US stars to dip their toes into football inside and out of this country. 

The Watts were inspired by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s involvement with Wrexham

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney 

Not long ago Ryan Reynolds was just one of Canada’s most popular movie actors and Rob McElhenney was simply known for creating a cult hit of a sitcom.

But now the pair’s purchase of Wrexham and subsequent promotion back to the football league has made them some of the most astute – and popular – sports owners on the planet. 

And has proved to be a model many of their peers in North America have sought to emulate. Since their 2021 purchase, Reynolds and McElhenney have produced a television series chronicling the transformation at Racecourse Ground. 

They’ve secured a lucrative shirt sponsorship with social media giants TikTok, drafted in big names for the division and considerably raised the profile of the side to the point where the National League champions were part of a pre-season US tour alongside Man United and Chelsea. 

Tom Brady 

From the most famous example to the most recent. Brady retired from the NFL for the second time in February but clearly cannot help but be around football whether it’s of the North American or English variety. 

Thursday’s news will raise supporters’ spirits ahead of the new Championship campaign which begins with a trip to Swansea on Saturday. 

‘Birmingham City is an iconic club with so much history and passion and to be part of the Blues is a real honour for me,’ the former quarterback said in a video confirming the news. 

‘BCFC is built on teamwork and determination and I’m excited to work alongside the board, management and players to make our Second City club second to none.

‘I’ve been part of some amazing teams in my day, and I’m looking forward to applying my perspective to create that same success here in Birmingham.’ 

St Andrew’s is guaranteed to be abuzz for the club’s first home game of the season against Leeds next Sunday. 

NFL icon Tom Brady has become a minority owner of Birmingham City Football Club

NFL icon Tom Brady has become a minority owner of Birmingham City Football Club

The couple have vowed to grow the global profile of the team as part of the partnership

JJ Watt and his wife Kealie have invested in Burnley ahead of their Premier League return

 JJ Watt 

In the first example of the ‘Wrexham effect’, NFL hero JJ Watt and his wife – former United States international Kealia – invested in newly-promoted Burnley after being inspired by Reynolds and McElhenney’s work in north Wales. 

Vincent Kompany’s side have the National League champions to thank for their minority owners, who were taken by Wrexham’s behind-the-scenes documentary. 

‘We watched the documentary on and it was so cool to see what they’ve done,’ Kealia admitted when the pair annoced their investment in May. ‘That’s kind of what we are modelling this after. Wrexham is such a fun team and we have followed that.’

During Burnley’s title celebrations after making a storming return to the top-flight, the duo took part in a pub crawl and soak up the atmosphere in the Lancashire town as fans rejoiced at Burnley’s achievement. 

Watt retired from the NFL last year after 12 seasons. He is a three-time defensive player of the year and widely tipped as a future hall-of-famer. In 2021, Forbes ranked his estimated wealth at £27m. 

His wife Kealia played three times for the United States women’s team and has underlined her desire to elevate the growth of the women’s team at Burnley.

LeBron James

LeBron James was quick to invest in Liverpool following the club’s takeover by US multinational conglomerate Fenway Sports Group in 2010. 

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer purchasing a two percent stake in Liverpool for just £4.7m in 2011 and I think it’s fair to say he got in a right time. 

Since then the club have enjoyed a period of success and soaring commercial value which has seen James’ stake balloon to an estimated £35m last year. 

LeBron James is seen attending a Liverpool game during his days with the Miami Heat

LeBron James is seen attending a Liverpool game during his days with the Miami Heat

Michael B. Jordan was part of the ownership group that took over Bournemouth last year

Michael B. Jordan was part of the ownership group that took over Bournemouth last year

Michael B Jordan

Actor Michael B. Jordan is a minority stakeholder in Bournemouth under the ownership of Bill Foley. 

The 36-year-old actor, who has played a leading role in blockbuster films like ‘Creed’, ‘Black Panther’, is new to the world of sports ownership. 

Foley meanwhile, is not new to the sports world, as he’s been the owner of the expansion hockey team Las Vegas Golden Knights since 2016.

The NHL required a £394m expansion fee to be paid by Foley, far more than the £145m it took to purchase a club in the world’s biggest soccer league.

The 78-year-old has made his money as the chairman of Fidelity National Financial, one of the largest insurance companies in the US, and his net worth is £947m.

Foley also served as chairman of Black Knight, a software and data provider for the mortgage industry.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian ever, will be among the club's minority owners

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian ever, will be among the club’s minority owners

San Francisco 49ers and Michael Phelps

Leeds United’s takeover by 49ers Enterprises was finally been approved by the EFL last month more than five weeks after announcing Andrea Radrizzani had agreed a deal to sell his majority share to the Americans. 

It was only then that fans at Elland Road were treated to the cast of esteemed figures who would be forming part of their ownership group. 

it emerged that the most successful Olympian of all time, American swimmer Phelps, will have a stake in Daniel Farke’s Championship side, along with golfers Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas and other stars from American football, basketball and ice hockey. 

Paraag Marathe, the new Leeds chairman and 49ers Enterprises president, said: ‘This is an important moment for Leeds United and we are already hard at work.

‘This transition is a necessary reset to chart a new course for the club. We have already appointed a highly-respected manager with a track record of success, and we are confident Leeds will field a competitive squad to contend for promotion next season.