From Gambler To Premier League Club Owner: The Wild Story of Matthew Benham


Matthew Benham may not be a household name, but he’s had a significant impact on English football, particularly at Brentford Football Club.

Matthew Beham was born in 1968. Benham’s upbringing was rooted in a family that shared a love for cricket. His parents were both teachers at Eton, where he spent his childhood. While he was a devoted follower of Brentford Football Club, Benham didn’t attend his first match until he was 11 years old in 1979. He received his education at Slough Grammar School, where he discovered a passion for mathematics. One day in December 1982, when he was just 14 years old, Benham skipped school with a friend to watch Brentford play an away game against Nottingham Forest FC. Benham attended Oxford University, where he studied Physics, Philosophy, and Psychology.

It Started With A Career Change

After graduating from Oxford, Benham worked his way up to become the Vice President of Bank of America. However, he made a drastic career change in 2001 when he joined Premier Bet, a sports betting company. In 2003, Benham left Premier Bet to start his own gambling career. He became a professional gambler, specializing in soccer betting. Throughout his career, Benham made millions of dollars in sports betting, which provided him with a significant opportunity to make an impact in football.

In 2007, Brentford Football Club, a professional club located in West London, was up for sale and on the verge of bankruptcy. Benham stepped in and loaned supporters of the club $700,000 so that they could purchase the team. The move made Brentford the first fan-owned professional club in London. However, the terms of the loan allowed Benham to take control of the club if the supporters did not repay the loan in full.

Owner In Full

From Gambler To Premier League Club Owner: The Wild Story of Matthew Benham

In 2012, Benham exercised his option to take full ownership of Brentford Football Club. From there, he invested heavily in the club’s analytics department, a decision that has proved to be a massive success. Benham believed that young players needed at least 35 games to prove their worth, a philosophy that was not shared by other clubs. As a result, Brentford eliminated its youth academy and relied on a “B team” of 17-to-20-year-olds that other clubs had deemed useless.

The strategy paid off, as Brentford was promoted from League One to the English League Championship in 2014 and then to the Premier League in 2021. Brentford returned to the top flight of English football for the first time since 1993 and is now valued at over $400 million. The Bees began the 2022-23 Premier League season with a stunning 4-0 win over powerhouse Manchester United.

Benham’s impact on Brentford goes beyond its success on the pitch. He’s also responsible for bringing a more analytical approach to football. Benham’s success has prompted other clubs to invest more in analytics and youth development. He’s become a role model for small clubs looking to compete with larger teams.

Leading Other Clubs

In addition to Brentford, Benham owns Danish club FC Midtjylland, which he purchased in 2014. He’s brought the same analytical approach to the Danish club and has achieved significant success. In 2020, FC Midtjylland won its first-ever Danish Superliga title.

Matthew Benham may not be a household name in football, but his impact on Brentford and FC Midtjylland cannot be overstated. His success as a gambler has allowed him to invest in clubs that were on the brink of bankruptcy and turn them into highly successful teams. Benham’s analytical approach to football has changed the game, and his success has inspired other clubs to follow suit. He’s become a symbol of hope for small clubs that want to compete with the big boys.

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