Owning a sports team is seen by some as the ultimate status symbol and recently more and more families have been getting in on the act. Here we present our very own Top 10 family-owned sports teams, ranked according to a combination of length of ownership and sporting success or, in some cases, potential. On your marks, set, go!
1. New York Yankees
Depending on who you talk to, it's either the most loved or most deeply reviled team in Major League Baseball, and it's owned by one of the sport's most outspoken and controversial figures — billionaire George Steinbrenner (pictured, left, with former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the Yankees' 2000 World Series victory parade). The son of American shipping magnate Henry Steinbrenner, George bought the club in 1973, making him the longest club owner in history. Under his ownership, the team has garnered six World Series titles and is home to some of the most famous faces in baseball. Since 2006 George has spent most of his time in Florida, leaving the running of the club to his two sons, Hal and Hank.
2. Ellerston polo
Named after the family's country estate in Eastern Australia, the team was originally run by Australian media mogul Kerry Packer. Since his death, his son James has taken over the reins. Earlier this year, in a closely played final, Ellerston claimed a record-breaking sixth Queen's Cup win. James followed in his father's footsteps, accepting the trophy from Queen Elizabeth II. Ellerston had previously won the trophy in 1991, '92, '96,'98 and '99.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Rooney family has owned this storied American football team for 75 years and has been a fixture in the upper echelons of the NFL since 1933. Present chairman/owner Dan, founder Art's eldest son, is currently trying to buy his four brother's shares to ensure the family keeps hold of the team. The team has won five Super Bowls Championships (most recently in 2005) and plays at Heinz Field (sponsored by Pittsburgh's venerable Heinz family company).
4. Manchester Utd FC
The world's second richest football team with a value of $388 million is owned by America's Glazer family who purchased the club in 2005. However, the ride was far from smooth as supporters reacted with outrage and a minority set up a rival club in protest. However, winning the English Premiership and European Champion's League last season has silenced the protests for now.
5. Detroit Red Wings
Detroit native Mike Ilitch founded the pizza delivery chain Little Caesars in 1959 but in the sports arena he's best known as owner of ice hockey's Detroit Red Wings and baseball's Detroit Tigers. He bought the Red Wings in 1982 for $8 million and it is now one of the most valuable franchises in the National Hockey League. Under Ilitch, the Red Wings have made the division championships 14 times and raised the Stanley Cup (the league's championship trophy) four times, most notably beating the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
Canada-based baseball team the Toronto Blue Jays have been owned by the Rogers family since 2000. The owners, the family behind Rogers communications, also bought the Jays' stadium for $21 million in 2004. They are the first and only team outside the US to win a World Series, the first team to win a World Series in Canada, and the fastest American League expansion franchise to win a World Series.
7. Mumbai Indians
In January Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani pipped his brother Anil to the purchase of this cricket team that helped launch the new Indian Premier League. Revolutionary in the traditional world of cricket, the IPL promises incredible riches as it looks to capitalise on India's number one sport. Captained by India's biggest sporting star Sachin Tendulker, Ambani has assured himself of some fantastic exposure.
8. QPR FC
Another English football team and the newest entry on the list. Currently in the league below the Premier League, the west London club was saved from bankruptcy earlier this year when a consortium led by Formula One pairing Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone were joined by the financial muscle of the Mittal family, owners of steel giant Arcelor Mittal. One to watch.
9. New York Knicks
James Dolan's father, Charles, founded the telecommunications, media and entertainment company Cablevision in 1973. Now James serves as president and CEO of the company but is also the proud owner of basketball's New York Knicks, ice hockey's New York Rangers, and their shared home, Madison Square Gardens. The Knicks are considered the most valuable basketball franchise in the US, valued at around $608 million. However, the team has yet to replicate its financial success on the hardwood and hasn't won a championship since it was purchased by Dolan.
10. South Sydney Rabbitohs
In Australian Rugby League, the saying goes "When Souths are going well, Rugby League is going well". One of only two remaining founding members of the country's original league, the Rabbitohs have won 20 first grade premierships since their establishment in 1908. In 2006, Peter Holmes à Court, the son of the late billionaire businessman Robert Holmes à Court, and Hollywood actor Russell Crowe bought the team, which most recently made the semi-final playoffs in the 2007 season.