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Big spending does not always guarantee success

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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.

Atlético Madrid are Europe's smartest club, according to a measure of success based on wages to points achieved.   The club does far better on the pitch than its rivals, relative to the amount spent on players. Last season it spent €137m on staff costs, making it the eighth biggest spending team in Europe.  The team got to the final of the Champions League and finished three points behind La Liga champions Bareclona which spent €372m on staff.

Queens Park Rangers are among the worst performers, but bad performers also include historic super clubs such as Inter Milan and AC Milan.    Other English clubs in the bottom fifteen are Sunderland and Aston Villa.   The top fifteen includes Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton.

Financial disparities between English and continental European clubs continue to grow, yet the English clubs have performed badly in the Champions League in recent seasons.   Soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski told the Pink 'Un that the riches to be gained from the Champions League have come to matter less to executives in the boardrooms of English clubs than the fans who are more interested in success than money.

'It may be that we have reached the stage where three points in the Premier League is more important than winning in the Champions League,' he says.   'It may seem crazy to say that, but the money involved in the Premier League and the global interest in it is extraordinary.  The share of revenues gained from the Champions League for the big English clubs has been falling.'