English Premier League

J.J. Watt, Wife Kealia Announce Investment in Premier League-Bound Burnley

Burnley will be playing in the English Premier League for the 2023-24 campaign

Watt, Burnley

A football crossover is happening for one English club.

Former NFL star J.J. Watt and wife Kealia, who most recently played in the NWSL, announced on Monday they are investing in football club Burnley, who will be playing in the English Premier League later this year for the 2023-24 campaign.

Watt, who was seen at Burnley's field Turf Moor during a game on March 11, joked in the announcement video that he doesn't have the money to buy a whole club like Ryan Reynolds' Wrexham, but will join Burnley as a minority investor.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year said in a statement he and Kealia will look to grow the club internationally as well as absorb the culture locally.

“When you invest in a club that’s been around since 1882, you must have great respect for its history and tradition," Watt said. "We understand that not only are we investing in the squad and manager, we’re investing in the town and its people. We take that responsibility very seriously and intend to work hard in earning their trust and support.”

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Kealia, a USWNT international with three caps and formerly of the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars, said her experience in the NWSL can help the Burnley women's team grow, too.

“In the US, I’ve seen the NWSL grow into something really incredible, and we’d love to be a part of growing the women’s team here and be a part of their journey.”

Burnley currently plays in the EFL Championship, the second tier of football in England, but already secured promotion to the Premier League under first-year manager Vincent Kompany. The Clarets had been relegated after the 2021-22 season, but quickly recovered in 2022-23 to return to England's top-flight league within one season.

In terms of notable Americans becoming minority owners in the Premier League, Watt isn't the first. Actor Michael B. Jordan became a part-owner of AFC Bournemouth in December of 2022 after Las Vegas Knight's owner Bill Foley completed a full takeover of the club. The Cherries currently are fighting to avoid relegation to the Championship after being promoted to the top flight this past summer.

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