Manchester City’s elegant treble this season has shaken Spain’s confident lead in the ranking of countries whose representatives have most often won the Cup/Champions League. Guardiola’s team sent the 15th victory to the asset of England, and now the British have only four “ears” less than the clubs in La Liga. Italy is sad in third place with 12 wins, the last time a Serie A team won the Champions League in 2010. The dominance of Premier League clubs is due to super-wins, which were recorded by the next Annual Deloitte Review of Football Finance.
The consultancy calculated the income of the European clubs for the 2021/2022 season and claimed a total profit of 29.5 billion euros (7% more than in the previous season), of which 17.25 billion euros came from the first five championships. . The Premier League, as expected, earned 6.44 billion euros, the Spanish La Liga 3.28 billion euros, the German Bundesliga 3.15 billion euros, the Italian Serie A clubs 2.35 billion euros and 2.03 billion euros managed to accumulate representatives of French League 1 Will the British be able to surpass the Spanish in terms of Champions League victories in the next decade?
The Premier League earns a lot, but most of the income is “eaten” by gigantic salaries
The growth in the economic performance of football clubs in the 2021/2022 season is due to the removal of covid restrictions. The Premier League continued to establish itself as a market leader, with growth in the Premier League outpacing the rest of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues, and both matchday revenue and business performance reaching record levels. This was greatly influenced by the increase in average attendance in the Premier League, which amounted to 39,950 people (with a stadium occupancy of 98%). The Premier League has reported growth of 12 per cent and other English divisions are doing well too, with combined Championship, League 1 and League 2 revenue of €1.1bn.
Deloitte predicts that the total revenue of European clubs will rise to 18.2 billion euros for the 2022/2023 season, with the gap between the Premier League and other leagues expected to widen. If today the British outsell the second La Liga by 3.160 million euros, in the next report the odds will increase to 3.300 million euros. of the Serie A clubs) and ending with the data on television revenues. The option has generated Premier League clubs 3.49 billion euros, more than the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 combined.
Manchester United have been the biggest spender in the Premier League on wages
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Most of the Premier League’s revenue comes from the so-called Big Six. Manchester City (£619m) is the record holder for the 2021/2022 season, followed by Liverpool (£594m), Manchester United (£583m), Chelsea (£481m). £368m), Tottenham Hotspur (£443m) and Arsenal (£368m). . Six clubs earned 56% of total Premier League revenue. In the coming years, the apparent inequities could widen further as investments in Saudi Arabia’s Newcastle Sovereign Investment Fund begin to pay dividends.
The numbers are insane, but there’s also a negative factor: for the third year in a row, the Premier League saw wage costs rise, this time amounting to a staggering £3.6bn, so Harry Maguire and others.” hell” they don’t need anything. Tottenham Hotspur pay the least of the Big 6 players (£209m or 47% of revenue). Burnley spent less on wages in the 2021/2022 season (£92m), but overall for the Premier League, the average bar is still quite high at £182m.
LaLiga is not prepared to compete with the Premier League due to the efforts of Barcelona and Real Madrid
The British’s main rival, the Spanish League, is also desperately looking for ways to make money. In 2021, the Spaniards signed an agreement with the management company CVC Capital Partners, which expressed its willingness to invest 2.7 billion euros in the development of the league in exchange for 10% of the rights to future revenues for the next 50 years. The clubs received funds in the form of interest-free loans, which they commit to repay over the next 40 years. But there is a caveat: 38 Spanish clubs voted to partner with CVC Capital Partners, including non-super-tops Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Catalans and people from Madrid have found other investors. In the 2021/2022 season, Real Madrid generated €316 million in revenue following a 20-year deal with investment firm Sixth Street Partners and Legends Corporation. Barcelona obtained a profit of 267 million euros from the sale of 10% of its emission rights to Sixth Street Partners for a period of 25 years. In July 2022, the investment company acquired another 15% of these rights. LaLiga, after the tops refused to cooperate with CVC Capital, tightened financial rules in retaliation: it limited the sale of assets to increase the spending limit on salaries.
Real Madrid and Barcelona compete with each other and with LaLiga
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The total income of the Spanish clubs in the 2021/2022 season by attendance amounted to 409 million euros, 353 million euros more than the previous covid season. Total broadcast revenue fell by 83 million euros (4%), but a significant increase in revenue (by 1 billion euros) is already expected in the 2022/2023 season thanks to the agreements with DAZN and Telefónica.
In Germany, total revenue for Bundesliga clubs increased by 5% to €3.1bn, largely due to strong fan relations: an average of 42,837 people visited German stadiums this season. The Bundesliga’s long-standing focus on financial sustainability is reflected in the club’s healthy average salary-to-revenue ratio that has not exceeded 59% for the past decade. Yet despite the Bundesliga’s domestic appeal, its international prestige remains inferior to that of the Premier League.
Italian Serie A is the only league of the big five to see a decrease in total revenue in the 2021/2022 season. The amount of 2.350 million euros is 7% less than the previous season, due to a drop in TV revenue of up to 24%. Overall revenue could be higher, but most Italian stadiums have not been upgraded since the 1990 World Cup. At the same time, for the fifth consecutive season, Serie A ranks second in terms of salary-revenue ratio among the big five leagues: in the 2021/2022 season, 14 clubs have a salary-income ratio greater than 80%.
As a result, cumulative operating losses reached a record €400 million. Only two clubs, Atalanta and AC Milan, posted operating profits with a modest salary-to-income ratio of 62% and 64%, respectively. Another 18 Serie A clubs suffered operating losses, with Roma (€105m), Genoa (€80m) and Juventus (€57m) being the biggest losers.
French Ligue 1 clubs recorded the highest percentage increase in total revenue among the big five leagues in the 2021/2022 season, +26% (412 million euros). Even so, they barely made it to the €2 billion mark. The most worrying fact in Deloitte’s Ligue 1 survey is the pay-earning ratio. Of the 2 billion euros earned, 1.8 billion euros were spent on salaries. It is true that almost half of the expenses for this item correspond to PSG: expenses increased by 45% compared to the previous season and amounted to 729 million euros. The 2021/2022 season was the fifteenth consecutive year of cumulative operating losses for Ligue 1 clubs.
UEFA intends to introduce a salary cap
One of the main problems of European football in economic terms is the increasing wages each season, which impede the development of the clubs. Therefore, in April 2022, UEFA approved new financial stability rules (FSRs), forcing participants in European competition to spend no more than 90% of revenue on player salaries and transfers. In 2024, they intend to lower the bar to 80%, in 2025 – to 70%.
However, this approach does not suit European clubs outside of England. The main complaint lies in the fact that the British significantly outperform many continental clubs in terms of budget, and with the introduction of the FSR, the gap may widen. To counter this, a working group was created involving the European Club Association (ECA) and the players union (FIFPro). The group has proposed to UEFA that it set a fixed limit on the amount a club can spend during the season on wages, transfers and agency fees.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin tries to reconcile rich and poor
Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
At the moment, the upper limit of the amount is determined: UEFA intends to submit its proposal for approval to the European Union. “We should seriously think about the salary cap. If budgets skyrocket, competitive balance becomes an issue. It’s not about the owners, it’s about the value of the competition, because if five clubs always win, then everything will lose its meaning. It should be a collective agreement, each league and UEFA”, worries UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin.
The official is consciously cautious, because from the 2022/2023 season a new three-year Premier League contract for the sale of television broadcasts came into force. The deal states that the Premier League will earn £10.5bn between 2022 and 2025, 30% more than the previous contract. There is no need to talk about some kind of competition with such a number of zeros.