Revenue of European Football Leagues – money doesn’t mean success.

The English Premier League (EPL) is by far the richest in Europe with its revenue around €5bn in 2017 with only La Liga (Spain) and the Bundesliga (Germany) coming in at just under €3bn. However if you look at the performance of EPL teams in the Champions League their performance hasn’t been that good – no EPL team has reached the final of the Champions League since 2012. One reason for this might be that fees paid by the TV companies are divided more equally amongst all EPL teams which prevents a monopoly situation from emerging. In other major leagues in Europe the more successful teams have taken a greater share of their leagues profits.

Between 2003 and 2012, UEFA paid out €5.6 billion in prize money to teams competing in the Champions League. Some 45% of that prize money went to just 10 teams, which competed in almost every season and received an average €256 million each over the decade, or €25.6 million in every season. By contrast, there were another 85 clubs that participated over the decade but only for 2.7 seasons on average and they received only €3.6 million on average for each season they played. This means that these clubs received only €10 million on average over the entire decade. To put it another way, each of the big clubs every year gets more than two and a half times as much Champions League broadcast revenue as each of the remaining teams can expect to make in a decade. As a result of this it is not surprising in 2016 the German, French and Italian leagues endured a fourth consecutive year with the same champion, while Leicester City lifted the title in England. However La Liga have recently introduced a much fairer system of distribution of income amongst teams.

Sources:

  • The Economist – The wealth and mediocrity of English football. 2017
  • Money and Soccer: A Soccernomics Guide: By Stefan Szymanski. 2015

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