JJ Watt’s Impact on Burnley Football Club


JJ Watt’s name is synonymous with dominance in the National Football League (NFL). A three-time Defensive Player of the Year with the Houston Texans, Watt was a force to be reckoned with on the field.

However, in a surprising turn of events, his legacy has extended beyond the gridiron and into the world of English Premier League football with his investment in Burnley Football Club. This article delves into JJ Watt’s journey to becoming a co-owner of Burnley, his impact on the club, and the intriguing future he potentially holds for the Clarets.

From Sacking Quarterbacks to Investing in Football: A Career Shift

JJ Watt’s NFL career was one for the ages. Drafted by the Houston Texans in 2011, he quickly established himself as a defensive force, racking up an astonishing 103 sacks and forcing 53 fumbles throughout his illustrious career. He became a fan favorite, known for his relentless motor, infectious energy, and dedication to the game.

However, in 2021, injuries began to take their toll. After a tumultuous final season with the Texans, Watt signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2022 for a single season. While his impact remained undeniable, it was clear his playing days were nearing an end.

Then, in May 2023, a surprising announcement shook the world of football. JJ Watt, alongside his wife Kealia Watt, a decorated professional footballer herself with the US Women’s National Team, became minority owners of Burnley Football Club.

This move signaled a new chapter in Watt’s career, one that transcended the boundaries of American football and embraced the global passion for the beautiful game.

Why Burnley? Understanding the Appeal

The decision by JJ Watt and Kealia Watt to invest in Burnley raised eyebrows. Burnley, a historic club known for its blue-collar work ethic and passionate fanbase, is a far cry from the glitz and glamor associated with some other Premier League clubs.

However, there seem to be several factors that attracted the Watts to the Clarets:

Tradition and Stability: Burnley boasts a rich history dating back to 1882. The club has a reputation for punching above its weight and maintaining a strong core identity. This potentially appealed to Watts’ desire to be part of a club with a strong foundation.

Financial Sustainability: Unlike some Premier League clubs with astronomical debts, Burnley is known for its responsible financial management. This secure environment might have been a factor, especially considering Watts’ likely long-term commitment to the club.

Passionate Fanbase: Burnley fans are renowned for their unwavering loyalty and support. The opportunity to own a club with such a dedicated following might have resonated with the Watts, who themselves are known for their dedication to fans

These factors, combined with the allure of English football and the potential for growth, might have made Burnley the perfect landing spot for the power couple.

JJ Watt’s Impact on Burnley: A Work in Progress

While it’s still early days, JJ Watt’s presence has already had a noticeable impact on Burnley. Here are some key areas:

Increased Global Attention: Watt’s NFL fame has undoubtedly brought Burnley more international recognition. This could lead to new sponsorship opportunities and potentially attract a wider fanbase

Boost in Fan Engagement: Burnley fans have warmly welcomed the Watts. Watt interacts with fans on social media and has expressed a genuine desire to learn about the club’s history and traditions. This fosters a positive connection and strengthens fan loyalty

Leadership and Business Expertise: Watt’s years in the NFL instilled valuable leadership and business acumen. His experience could be crucial in helping Burnley navigate the complex world of professional football

However, the exact nature of Watt’s involvement remains unclear. While some speculate he might take on a more active role in management, others believe his focus will be on fan outreach and brand building. Only time will tell how his influence will shape the future of the club.

Challenges and Uncertainties: Can the Watts Deliver Success?

Owning a football club is no easy feat. Burnley faces several challenges that the Watts will need to navigate:

Financial Constraints: Burnley is not a financial powerhouse. The Watts will need to be strategic in their investments and focus on building a sustainable model for success

Competition: The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world. Burnley will need to fight hard to stay afloat and compete for silverware

Managerial Uncertainty: Burnley’s current manager, Vincent Kompany, has faced criticism for the team’s recent struggles. The Watts will need to decide whether to back Kompany or make a change in leadership.


Q: Did JJ Watt switch sports and become a footballer?

A: No, JJ Watt remains retired from the NFL. However, he and his wife, Kealia Watt (a professional soccer player for the US women’s national team), made a significant move in the world of football (soccer) by becoming co-owners of Burnley Football Club in May 2023.

Q: Why did JJ Watt invest in Burnley?

A: Specific reasons haven’t been officially disclosed, but there could be several factors at play:

Business Opportunity: Burnley is a historic club with a passionate fanbase. Investing in a Premier League team could be a lucrative business decision.

Love for the Sport: Both JJ and Kealia Watt have a strong connection to football. Owning a club allows them to be directly involved in the sport they love.

Global Expansion: JJ Watt has a massive fanbase worldwide. This investment could help Burnley expand its international reach.

Q: What’s JJ Watt’s role at Burnley?

A: As a co-owner, JJ Watt likely has a voice in major club decisions alongside the other owners. However, he isn’t expected to be directly involved in day-to-day operations or on-field management.

Q: Has JJ Watt’s ownership impacted Burnley?

A: It’s still early to say definitively. The investment brought financial backing and global exposure, but the biggest impact might be yet to come.  One interesting development was JJ Watt’s vocal criticism of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) decision in a recent Burnley match.

Q: Where can I learn more about JJ Watt and Burnley?

A: Keep an eye on Burnley Football Club’s official website and social media channels for updates on the team and its ownership. You can also find news articles about JJ Watt’s involvement with Burnley through online searches.

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