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European Leagues

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The story behind the Neymar transfer

It is very unusual for a football transfer story to make the front page of the Financial Times, but that applies to Neymar's transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain at a total cost of £415m. It is more than twice the sum Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer and two and a half times that paid to United by Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo

Neymar on par with Messi in salary stakes

Paris Saint-Germain are expected to formalise their bid to sign Neymar in a deal worth more than £500m this week.   It would place him on a par with Lionel Messi as the best paid footballer on an annual salary of £55m.   Neymar's father should be able to take eight figure commissions on the transaction.

Spanish football chief arrested

The head of Spain's football federation was arrested yesterday in an investigation into suspected corruption by top officials.

Angel Maria Villar, his son Gorka Villar, and several Spanish federation executives were detained by Spanish police on suspicion of embezzlement, fraud and collusion. Mr Villar Snr, a former player for the Spanish national team, has been president of the federation for almost 30 years and is also a vice-president of Fifa and Uefa.

Football riches spread across Europe

The 26th Deloitte annual review of football finance reports that driven by continued growth in broadcast rights values in European football’s biggest leagues, and the impact of UEFA Euro 2016, total European football market revenues reached almost €25 billion in 2015/16, a 13% increase on 2014/15.

The ‘big five’ European leagues grew collective revenues by €1.4 billion (12%) in 2015/16, 59% of which was due to increased broadcast revenues, and 31% due to increased sponsorship and other commercial revenues.

Messi is first £1m a week player

Barcelona are to pay Lionel Messi a basic wage worth more than £1m a week.   Messi's gross salary under a four year contract has been set at an annual €60m (£54.8m).   If the contract runs for its full term Barca are committed to paying him £220m before performance bonuses.

Barcelona had total revenues of €620.2m (£548.6m at current exchange rates) in 2016, the second highest figure in football after Manchester United.  Last season the club budgeted for €695m of income and, according to its own analysis, Messi contributed 20 per cent of that figure.  

Jersey bid for Uefa status

Jersey's appeal against Uefa's refusal to let them join the organisation will be heard in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne on Wednesday.   If they were in Uefa now island champions St. Peter's would be in the Champions League and runners up Jersey Wanderers would be in the Europa League.

Seventeen clubs play in two senior leagues with women and junior leagues on Sundays.  The highlight of the season is the Muratti cup against Guernsey which can attract an attendance of 4,000.

Chinese team to play in German league

China's Under 20 team is to be invited to compete in one of Germany's regional leagues.   Teams will be paid €15,000 compensation for each of the home games they play against the team.

This would seem to be further evidence of the march of globalisation in football.   It also reflects global power politics.   President Xi Jinping is to be in Berlin in early July when the scheme is to be presented to him.   

Premier League fatigue leads to Europe failure

According to a Financial Times analysis, the amount of money in the Premier League has increased its competitiveness, to the point that the top clubs have to devote so much energy to the domestic campaign they are too drained to take on Europe's leading clubs.

TV boosts football club values by €3bn

The combined worth of European football's leading clubs grew by about €3bn over the past year, boosted by the escalating value of broadcasting deals.   According to KPMG, the combined enterprise value of Europe's 32 richest sides was close to €30bn in 2016, a rise of 14 per cent from the previous year.

The list is dominated by Premier League clubs and is topped by Manchester United, which became the first club to be valued at more than €3bn.   Six other English clubs are among the 10 most valuable in Europe.

Leicester's owners buy Belgian club

Leicester City's owners, King Power, have reached agreement to buy OH Leuven, a Belgian second division team.

What the relationship will be with Leicester City is unclear, but it could serve as a feeder club given the number of high quality players Belgium has produced in recent years.   It could also be used to give experience to Leicester players.