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European Leagues

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Champions League counts for less financially

Arsene Wenger argued in a weekend interview that the Champions League counts for less than it used to financially.  He said, 'financially the Champions League does not have the impact any more that it had five or six years ago because of the influx of television money.'

Why, then, are teams competing so intensely for a top four place?   In part it's a matter of prestige.  A Champions League place also helps to attract and retain top players.   But, on the downside, one needs a larger and higher quality squad which wipes out a lot of the financial benefits.

Russian football's financial problems

Russian football is facing serious financial problems.  26 of the 36 teams in the top two divisions are owned by local government; a further five are owned by state-run corporations.

Two consecutive years of recession following the 2014 oil price crash and western sanctions over the Ukraine have seen regional budgets take serious hits.  Many regions have struggled to keep up with benefits payments and public sector wages as revenues plummeted when oil prices crashed.   State-supported sports teams were among the first victims.

Win-win for Berlusconi

In August, after nearly three decades at the helm of A.C. Milan, Silvio Berlusconi announced that he had sold his 99.93 per cent stake in the club to a Chinese investment group called Sino Europe for €520m (about £450m).

According to the terms of the deal, Sino Europe made an immediate down payment of about £85m, the rest to be paid in December.   This down payment was non-refundable.

AS Monaco's dilemma

AS Monaco face a difficult financial balancing act.   In 2014-15, the club made €117m, less than a third of Paris Saint-Germain's total for the same campaign.  With little match-day and commercial revenue, they are very reliant on Champions League qualification.    They can make €2m from a Champions League game.  This means remaining competitive on the pitch while seeking to maximise profits in the transfer market, a difficult balancing act.

Big spending does not always guarantee success

Using a KMPG database, the Financial Times has analysed the accounts of 69 clubs over four seasons. The results reveal that big spending does not always guarantee success.

Premiership clubs make profit in transfer window

Premier League clubs made a net profit of £4m in the transfer window compared with a loss of £109m last year, according to figures from the Premier League. This January's transfer window saw the biggest spend ever of £237m, compared with £178m last year. Sales amounted to £241m.

According to figures from Deloitte Sports Business, the gross spend by Premier League clubs in the 2016/17 season totals £1.4 billion, surpassing the previous record of £1 billion by more than a third.

Global transfers hit record

According to Fifa's Transfer Matching System (TMS), the total spend on transfer fees worldwide was $4.8bn in 2016, a 14.3 per cent increase compared with the previous year and well above inflation.

Since 2010, all clubs are required to record transfer deals through the TMS.  14,951 deals were concluded in 2016, the highest number ever, and about a thousand more than the previous year.

United top money league

The latest edition of the Deloitte Money League has appeared.  Aggregate revenue for the top 20 Money League clubs rose 12% to €7.4 billion (£5.5 billion) in 2015/16, a new record, with three clubs breaking the €600m barrier.   The infographic below shows the evolution of the Money League over the last twenty years.

Super club status a mixed blessing for City

Manchester City have been named as one of nine European super clubs by Uefa.  While the recognition is welcome, it could store up problems for the future.   Uefa may decide to target these clubs with new financial fair play (FFP) measures.  

Spending caps hit new Messi deal

La Liga spending caps are constraining Barcelona's ability to offer Lionel Messi a new contract.   Not unreasonably, La Liga requires clubs to spend no more than 70 per cent of their income on wages.

Barcelona have the highest wages in Spain and the second highest in the world after Manchester United. One way forward would be to try and boost revenues.