Real Madrid the European revenue champions as others more reliant on TV and Uefa
The league champions of a majority of the leading soccer countries in Europe all saw their revenues increase last season, with Spanish giants Real Madrid leading the way, and with clubs from France, Italy and Turkey particularly reliant on income from broadcasting and Uefa competitions, according to a new study.
In the second edition of ‘The European Champions Report’ published today, KPMG, the professional services firm, found that Real Madrid, which achieved the double of LaLiga and Champions League titles in 2016-17, generated operating revenue of €671 million ($821 million), an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year.
Matchday revenues accounted for 21 per cent of income, broadcasting for 37 per cent and commercial and other for 42 per cent.
In total revenue terms, Real Madrid finished ahead of German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, on €588 million, and English Premier League counterparts Chelsea, on €420 million, with Juventus, Serie A’s top club and the Champions League runners-up, in fourth place, on €412 million.
All the 12 clubs analysed bar Bayern and Switzerland’s Basel increased their operating revenue year-on-year in local currency in 2016-17, although after conversion to Euros Chelsea also showed a decline. All except Russia's Spartak Moscow, for which information was not available, recorded a post-tax profit.
The league champions that enjoyed the most growth in revenue were Monaco of France’s Ligue 1 (86 per cent), Celtic of the Scottish Premiership (52 per cent) and Besiktas of Turkey's Super Lig (43 per cent), and these mid-range clubs were also among those with the highest proportion of broadcasting income and Uefa dependence, namely the percentage of revenue from Uefa competitions.
Broadcasting income accounted for 76 per cent of Monaco’s operating revenue of €144 million, as the club, which by top-tier standards attracts low match day attendances, won the French league and progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League, a competition which generated 45 per cent of their total.
Juventus and Benfica of Portugal also derived a high proportion of revenue from broadcasting, 57 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively, while Celtic and Besiktas, which compete in leagues with comparatively small rights deals, were among the clubs most reliant on European competition, with 30 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.
It is noticeable that clubs such as Real Madrid, which also won the Champions League in 2015-16, and Bayern Munich based in the main leagues were less dependent than others on European competition (12 per cent and nine per cent, respectively), while Chelsea were not even involved in the Europa League after finishing only 10th in the Premier League in the 2015-16 season.
The high value placed on sponsorship in Germany is reflected by the fact that Bayern accrued 58 per cent of their revenue from commercial and other sources, a figure matched or surpassed only by Feyenoord in the Netherlands and Spartak Moscow in Russia.
KPMG’s report covered the champions of 12 leagues, but not the biggest club by operating revenues in Manchester United, which generated £581 million ($800 million) while finishing sixth in the Premier League and winning the Europa League in the 2016-17 season.
In the foreword to the study, Andrea Sartori, global head of sports at KPMG, stated: "One of the main challenges affecting football clubs in recent years has concerned the sustainability of their business. Despite eye-catching transfer deals and spiralling staff costs, the industry is headed towards a direction where being profitable is not a chimera anymore; indeed all the European champions included in this report have scored an after-tax profit at the end of the 2016-17 season."
|Revenues of European league champions|
|Club||Country||Operating Revenue (€m)||YoY change (%)|
|Broadcasting (%)||Commercial and Other (%)|
|Source: KPMG The European Champions Report 2018|