Date: 29th January 2013 at 8:26am
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I’ve been reading Deloittes annual report on football club revenues, it makes interesting reading.

With the hard numbers you can’t kid yourself about financial reality. Saying Spurs are the 13th richest club in Europe sounds so much better than saying we have only 35% of the income of Real Madrid, £178.2m versus £512.6m. Indeed we have only 55% of the income of Chelsea (5th on the list). Deloittes break a club’s income down into 3 categories, matchday revenue, broadcasting and commercial. Only 29% of our revenue comes from ticket sales, £50.8m, which is fairly typical. Arsenal have the highest percentage on the list but even then its only 43% of their total income. Inter Milan generate only 12% of their revenues from ticket sales. This might explain why clubs seem so unconcerned about the welfare of fans these days.

One thing that jumped out of the report was that Liverpool have significantly higher revenues than we do, £233.2m against our £178.2m. When you look at the numbers this is almost entirely due to higher commercial income, £99.1m versus £51.3m. It suggests we need to see what they are doing in that area and try to copy it. Comparisons with Arsenal are also enlightening. We have only 61% of Arsenal’s revenue, but this is mostly to do with the stadiums. Arsenal’s ticket sales came to £117.7m compared to our £50.8m, so they got more than twice our income from that source. If anyone wonders why we need a new stadium the answer is right there.

The national differences come out clearly in the report. Real Madrid and Barcelona are 1 and 2 but there are no other Spanish clubs in the top 20, whereas there are 7 English clubs. The four German clubs have a much higher share of their income from commercial sources than anyone else except Man City whose ‘sponsorship’ by Etihad Airways seems to have been allowed by EUFA. Looking at the numbers it’s hard to see how we can climb the table very far without a new stadium.

The top four (Madrid, Barcelona, Man U and Bayern) all have more than twice our total income, I don’t think that kind of gap can be closed. Champions league participation might earn you £30-40m a year, but that only closes the gap to Juventus in 10th place. Liverpool’s numbers suggest that there is scope to increase commercial income, but again its not enough to make a significant difference. The numbers tell us we need both to build the new ground and spend smarter than the competition, because for now we have significantly less money.

Written by jod