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European Leagues

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Juventus look good in Serie A

Accounts for Serie A clubs for the 2015-16 season are now complete and Juventus come out on top on a number of criteria.   Data from the author of the Swiss Ramble blog.

Juventus had the highest revenues at €351m. more than €100m ahead of Roma on €234m.   The importance of Champions League success in television revenues is readily apparent.  Juventus and Roma reached the group stages and they received a total of €195m and €154m respectively.  Juventus had the highest wage bill at €221m, followed by Milan on €204m.

The financial rewards of the Champions League

Juventus will earn €115m if they win the Champions League (€98m up to now) while Real Madrid will earn €82m (€67m up to now).   Barcelona have earned €59m. These figures come from the author of the Swiss Ramble blog.

In the Premier League, Leicester City earned €78m through their progress to the quarter finals.  Arsenal earned €62m, indicating how much they stand to lose if they do not qualify this year.  Manchester City brought in €48m and Tottenham Hotspur €42m.

The rush to China

Barcelona is the latest European football club to invest in China on the back of President Xi Jinping's plans for a football revolution.  They have opened a €4m complex featuring a football school, Barcelona shop and fan zone on the island of Hainan.  They believe that revenues from China will be critical to Barcelona's target of generating €1bn of revenue by 2021, up from €679m in the 2015/16 season.

The Chinese derby

This weekend's game between AC Milan and Inter Milan was billed as the 'Chinese derby' with both clubs now having Chinese owners.  The lunchtime kick off was ideal for the Chinese market.

Inter's majority owner is a Chinese retailer with revenues in excess of £15bn..   The group has experience in football. owning Jiangsu Sining, runners up in the Chinese Super League last season.

Champions League penalties for players

Arsenal players will lose out on bonuses worth about £5m if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. The club pays out £200,000 per player if it reaches the group stage, although that is not evenly split.  The competition was worth about £46m in payments from Uefa last season, while the club also made money from matchday income.

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.