Success Breeds Success
The Deloitte Football Money League for 2015 was published this week. There was a time when no one, except for owners and board members, would be interested in how much a club was making, all the focus was on the pitch – the players, the games, the score. Not anymore. Deloitte’s report, started back in 1997, is now part of the footballing calendar, which is reported widely in the media. It looks at match day receipts, TV income and commercial deals, such as sponsorships, to give a total revenue for the big clubs around the world.
The Key Numbers
The top ten teams are: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, PSG, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Juventus in that order. Liverpool are the only ‘new’ team in the top ten since last year, although last year was the only time they dropped out of this elite group. This is significant, as the top ten are pretty much the same, simply swapping one or two places up or down each year. For example, if we look ten years ago, at the 2003/04 season, the only difference in top ten teams would be AC Milan and Inter.
While the top ten teams are pretty stable, the money they make has increased year on year. 10 years ago, the richest team was Man United, making 260 million euros. That figure has almost been doubled by Real Madrid this year, who raked in 550 million.
Looking at the top 20 teams, 19 are from the ‘big five’ leagues: those in England, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. The only one to gatecrash this part is Galatasaray in 18th from the Turkish Super League. Taking an even broader view, of the top 40 teams, 20 are from the Premier League in England. The money these teams make from TV rights is very hard to compete with. Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has become the most watched, and therefore the richest, league in the world.
Does it Matter?
Well, the short answer is, ‘yes’. If we take a look at the championships, major domestic cups, and the two big European tournaments, the top ten clubs contain the national champions of four of the five leagues represented, winners of most of the domestic cups, and the Champions League champions. It was only in Spain and Turkey where a club outside the top ten won the championship – Atletico Madrid in Spain (ranked 15th) and Fenerbahçe in Turkey – and in the cups, the Coupe de France, the UEFA League, and the Coppa Italia allowed a non top-ten team to join the party. Clearly, success on the money front breeds success on the field.
It might not be unreasonable to think that The Deloitte Football Money League will become a real league. A league only open to those with the financial muscle to keep up. Of course it will be called something different, perhaps the European Super League, but the fact will remain that membership will be based on how much money your club can earn.
match day receipts: Money made from fans coming to the game and buying tickets and goods
dropped out: fall out, drop down, drop a rank
pretty much: basically, just about
gatecrash: join a party with out an invitation; force your way into an event without being asked
inception: beginning; start; foundation
financial muscle: economic power; financial power
will fall short: They will fail to qualify
will miss out: Fail to qualify