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The teams, the money, the power of social media in the premiere competition

The value and the costs of football teams in the Champions League of 2018/2019

The Champions League begins on September 18. While the big clubs with company values in the billions have dominated the Champions League for years, underdogs repeatedly make it into the qualified 32 clubs with little outlay and an inexpensive squad.

Der FC Bayern München, der FC Barcelona und Juventus Turin gehören zu den wertvollsten Klubs der Champions League.
FC Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin are among the most valuable clubs in the Champions League.

ISPO.com has reviewed all the clubs’ current financial reports and, based on statistics such as the KPMG Football Benchmark, compiled a list of the most valuable clubs in the Champions League.

The ranking combines the clubs with the highest profits after tax – and shows that if you manage your funds well, you can make it into the Top 10 with low sales.

10th place: Borussia Dortmund – Germany’s Number Two in the Champions League

Borussia Dortmund has a good knack for buying players at good prices, transforming them into stars, and selling them high again. Ousmane Dembélé came from Stade Rennais for 15 million euros, and went to FC Barcelona one year later for 100 million euros more, sending profits and company value skyrocketing.

The high revenue from marketing collaborations and TV rights is also worth noting – here, Dortmund is able to benefit from the strong German advertising market. 

Total revenue in 2017: €333 million
Revenue from game days:  €132 million
Revenue from TV rights: €245 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €240 million
   
Total personnel costs: €205 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €5.8 million
Company value:   €1.3 million
   
Total number of social media fans: 23.9 million
Facebook: 15.2 million
Instagram: 5.5 million
Twitter: 3.2 million
YouTube:   0.3 million

9th place: Paris Saint-Germain – High costs, stable balance sheet

Since Paris Saint-Germain was bought by Qatar Sports Investments, the French have made some of the biggest transfers in the history of soccer: First Neymar for 222 million euros, then Kylian Mbappé for 135 million. For the new owners, the image value of owning one of the most expensive soccer clubs in the world is more important than pure sales.

“With Neymar’s commitment, they’ve not only secured themselves an excellent soccer player, but a brand that will explode PSG’s media value,” KPMG summarizes.

Total revenue in 2017: €486 million
Revenue from game days:  €150 million
Revenue from TV rights: €203 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €80 million
   
Total personnel costs: €236 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €10.4 million
Company value:   €834 million
   
Total number of social media fans: 56.7 million
Facebook: 35.1 million
Instagram: 14 million
Twitter: 6.4 million
YouTube:   1.2 million

8th place: FC Barcelona – Astronomical sales, low profits

What’s surprising: Even though everything at FC Barcelona is gigantic, and their marketing revenue is twice as high as at FC Bayern, the astronomical personnel costs of 670 million euros make for a relatively small profit. “The costs for players have risen by 59 percent in five years; Lionel Messi alone costs the Catalans 43 million euros per year,” KPMG analyzes.

The management is responding with record deals: Nike pays 150 million euros per season, and the new Japanese jersey sponsor Rakuten is taking main sponsorship over from Qatar Airways for 60 million. What’s interesting here: Barcelona’s superstar Gerard Piqué and his partner, pop icon Shakira, arranged the first meeting in San Francisco.  – Barca’s players thus play an active part in its gigantic company value.

Total revenue in 2017: €914 million
Revenue from game days:  €66 million
Revenue from TV rights: €209 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €705 million
   
Total personnel costs: €670 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €13 million
Company value:   €3.35 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 70.4 million
Facebook: 47.4 million
Instagram: 13.4 million
Twitter: 4.4 million
YouTube:   4.9 million

7th place: Chelsea FC – Good balance sheet

A strong balance sheet: Relatively low costs meet very high revenues from broadcasting rights and marketing collaborations. “At 189 million euros, Chelsea has secure the largest TV revenue in the Premier League,” says KPMG. Added to that are the 155 million euros from sponsors like the luxury watch manufacturer Hublot, the headphone brand Beats, and Nike.

Total revenue in 2017: €420 million
Revenue from game days:  €76 million
Revenue from TV rights: €189 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €155 million
   
Total personnel costs: €255 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €17.7 million
Company value:   €1.59 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 72 million
Facebook: 47 million
Instagram: 12.2 million
Twitter: 12 million
YouTube:   0.8 million

6th place: SL Benfica Lisbon – The lowest costs in the Champions League

A fascinating club: Although Benfica generates much fewer sales than most of the Champions League teams, its low personnel costs mean it makes almost as much profit after tax as the billion-euro companies Chelsea and Real Madrid.

“The Portuguese have the lowest costs of all Champions League clubs, but make good earnings through larger sales,” emphasizes KPMG. Nevertheless, its weak social media presence curbs its marketing income.

Total revenue in 2017: €126 million
Revenue from game days:  €22 million
Revenue from TV rights: €69 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €36 million
   
Total personnel costs: €69 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €20.4 million
Company value:   €285 million
   
Total number of social media fans: 5.7 million
Facebook: 3.7 million
Instagram: 0.8 million
Twitter: 1.2 million
YouTube:   85,000

5th place: Real Madrid – Enormous sales, enormous costs

The revenue champion, the second-highest company value in the Champions League, but with extreme costs. KPMG’s analysis: “By winning the triple, Real has to pay some very high bonuses.” That’s probably one of the reasons why they signed a new 70 million euro deal with Fly Emirates, and Adidas is also committed to paying 70 million per season and a total of 1 billion over the next ten years.

Real also has the largest sponsor line-up of any team: Hugo Boss, Coca-Cola, Star, Audi, Nivea Men, and Electronic Arts, who have developed an entire campaign centered around Real Madrid for the best-selling video game series of all time. Ten million gamers buy the “FIFA” soccer simulator every year, and Real collects royalties.

Total revenue in 2017: €671 million
Revenue from game days:  €139 million
Revenue from TV rights: €252 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €281 million
   
Total personnel costs: €406 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €21 million
Company value:   €2.98 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 211.8 million
Facebook: €109 million
Instagram: 61.5 million
Twitter: 30.7 million
YouTube:   3.8 million

4th place: Juventus FC – Profits increased tenfold from the previous year

The rising star of the year: Juventus earned 72.5 million euros, primarily from selling French superstar Paul Pogba, and thus increased its profit tenfold compared to the previous year. The next season is going to be exciting: They paid 105 million euros for Cristiano Ronaldo, but are also hoping for significantly higher earnings from marketing and merchandising.

“90 percent of all clubs able to increase their social reach were also able to register higher marketing revenue,” says KPMG. Ronaldo – bigger than Kim Kardashian with 138 million Instagram followers – hasn’t just boosted the club’s media value; their share price also exploded after the mega transfer.

Total revenue in 2017: €412 million
Revenue from game days:  €59 million
Revenue from TV rights: €232 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €120 million
   
Total personnel costs: €262 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €39 million
Company value:   €1.22 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 55.4 million
Facebook: 34 million
Instagram: 13.9 million
Twitter: 6.2 million
YouTube:   1.3 million

3rd place: Liverpool FC – From losses to 39 million in profits

The comeback: Thanks to some major deals, the English have turned a multi-million euro deficit to a profit of 39 million. TV earnings increased by 33 million, marketing by 22 million, and ticket sales by 14 million.

Interesting for investors: Liverpool narrowly lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League finals, putting them in an excellent position to renew long-term contracts with key sponsors: New Balance is paying 335 million euros for a five-year deal.

Total revenue in 2017: €409 million
Revenue from game days:  €80 million
Revenue from TV rights: €173 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €153 million
   
Total personnel costs: Not available
   
Profit after taxes:   €39 million
Company value:   €1.9 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 51 million
Facebook: 31 million
Instagram: 8.3 million
Twitter: 10.4 million
YouTube:   1.3 million

2nd place: FC Bayern München – Germany’s most valuable team

FC Bayern may earn less than Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, but it also has markedly lower costs, and thus generates the second-highest profits of all Champions League teams. KPMG’s summary: “FC Bayern has not only been the stable Bundesliga winner for years, it also keeps its personnel expenses stable, while revenue from marketing activities continues to rise.”

Strategically clever was the purchase of Real star James Rodríguez: It was relatively inexpensive at 42 million euros, yet brings with it almost 40 million Instagram followers – three times as many as the club.

Total revenue in 2017: €588 million
Revenue from game days:  €98 million
Revenue from TV rights: €147 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €343 million
   
Total personnel costs: €265 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €40 million
Company value:   €2.5 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 66.2 million
Facebook: 47.4 million
Instagram: 13.4 million
Twitter: 4.4 million
YouTube:   1 million

1st place: Manchester United – Gigantic marketing revenues and profits

The richest club in the world: gigantic revenues, thick profits, 4.1 billion euros in company value, and 115.5 million fans on social media. ManU is extremely successful, and is doing well again for this 2018 season: Adidas is paying 80 million euros as their outfitter, and General Motors 65 million as their main jersey sponsor.

The English club is also profiting from a multi-billion-euro package for TV rights: Sky and BT Sports are paying a total of 5.1 billion euros for the exclusive Premier League rights, in which ManU is involved. And another three billion is due for the Champions League rights, which will flush fresh capital into the coffers of all Champions League participants.

Total revenue in 2017: €653 million
Revenue from game days:  €549 million
Revenue from TV rights: €217 million
Revenue from marketing collaborations: €299 million
   
Total personnel costs: €596 million
   
Profit after taxes:   €94 million
Company value:   €4.1 billion
   
Total number of social media fans: 115.5 million
Facebook: 73.5 million
Instagram: 22.8 million
Twitter: 18.2 million
YouTube:   1 million
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