Madrid (EFE) marketing.
This is reflected in the latest “Report on the European club football landscape” published this Thursday by UEFA, which analyzes the finances of more than 700 clubs, and represents “a true testimony to the strength and resistance” of European football, according to in his prologue the president of UEFA, the Slovenian Alexander Ceferin.
The document analyzes the finances of the clubs before the pandemic, during it and the period of its exit and ensures that “interest in European football has never been so high, as demonstrated by the record levels of investment and income that the clubs have begun to declare in the fiscal year 2022 ».
He also points out that “the worst-case scenarios, with massive insolvencies, have been avoided, thanks to the efforts of competition organizers and the continued investments of club owners.”
Financial overview of clubs emerging from the pandemic
2022 demonstrated the continued resilience and popularity of European football in the aftermath of the pandemic. This is reflected in record revenue reported by clubs that reported early (143 from 36 countries) for fiscal year 2022, 4.1% above the pre-pandemic level, despite some lingering effects from the pandemic.
This is due to the generation of commercial and sponsor income, which in 2022 is 13% higher than in 2019 (22% sponsors, 17% marketing and 12% kit manufacturing).
The increase in UEFA’s revenue distribution between clubs mitigates a slight 2% decline in declared domestic television revenue. (The report warns of large differences between markets, both in absolute revenue and in the way it is distributed within each league.)
Ticket revenue returned to 93% of pre-pandemic levels in fiscal year 2022. (In markets where spectator entry restrictions were fully lifted before the start of fiscal year 2022, record income for this concept).
Expenses: Salaries are 16% above their pre-pandemic level and other operating and financing costs are rising, in line with the rest of the world outside of football.
Player salaries absorbed 54% of club income and net transfer costs another 13%. Including non-player salaries – 16% of income – clubs have exhausted 83% of income.
Operating profits in fiscal year 2022 are declared or forecast for 40% of the 143 clubs that submitted advance reports, which contrasts with 45% of these clubs before the pandemic. Aggregate operating losses have decreased, but a net operating loss margin of 2% remains.
Transfer revenue reported for fiscal year 2022 remains 32% below the pre-pandemic level and more than €1bn below just for these first reporting clubs.
Inherited transfer costs in FY2022 were also €600 million higher than the pre-pandemic level. UEFA estimates that these two factors will improve significantly from fiscal year 2023.
The injections of the owners amount to more than €6,000 million since the start of the pandemic (throughout the 2020-2022 financial years), but some clubs among the first declarants have at the end of 2022 a bank debt 51% higher than the one of 2019.
Although some clubs posted large losses in fiscal 2022, 45% of all clubs that filed early reports have reported or anticipate pre-tax earnings.
Net worth appears to have stabilized during the 2022 fiscal year and actually increased 3% among early reporting clubs.
At the end of fiscal year 2022, net worth remains above the 2016 level and more than double the post-financial crisis level of net worth, before the introduction of the Financial Fair Play rules.
Transfers: The global spending by European clubs of €5.7bn indicates that the transfer market recovered from the pandemic in the summer of 2022. This was 45% more than in the summer of 2021.
The recovery in this spending has so far (both in summer 2022 and January 2023) been a two-speed affair, with only one of the “big 5” markets, England, having surpassed pre-pandemic levels. English clubs are responsible for 39% of world spending
In summer 2022 activity (sum of buying and selling) was between 24% and 30% lower in France, Germany and Italy and 59% lower in Spain compared to the pre-pandemic level.
Spain: The Spanish league remains third in income level
La Liga clubs lost 13% of their expected revenue forecasts during the pandemic (2020 and 2021 financial years), according to all European leagues.
La Liga remains the third in Europe and in the world by total revenue (€2,987 million) and average revenue (€149 million), behind the German Bundesliga (€3,041 million in total revenue).
Four Spanish clubs are among the top 20 in the 2022 revenue ranking. Real Madrid ranks 2nd, Barcelona 7th (1st before the pandemic), Atlético de Madrid 12th (14th before the pandemic) and Sevilla in 20, although it is expected to be in 29 once all the clubs present their data.
Spectator limits in the 2021-22 season saw Barcelona and Real Madrid give up the top two all-time attendance spots to rank 4th and 6th, respectively.
Paris Saint-Germain registered the highest collection in 2022, with 131 million euros, followed by English Tottenham Hotspur.