Date: 17th January 2018 at 4:34pm
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UEFA has just published, and the BBC has just reported on, its “Benchmark Report 2016”. According to the BBC, it “documents everything from club revenues to agents’ fees” and it`s well worth a read if you want to dive into the financial side of football.

Among other things, it benchmarks the Premier League against other leagues, looking at club revenues, wage spend, how TV rights money is split and distributed, etc.

There are a few interesting points in the report. According to it, THFC have the 6th-highest revenue in England, and the 12th highest in Europe with 281 million ? in 2016 (essentially, more than any European club except for the 5 usual suspects in England, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus and Dortmund). The average revenue in the PL in 2016 is 244.4 million ?.

On average across all PL clubs, revenue stems from the following sources: 46% from domestic broadcasting rights, 6% from UEFA, 16% from gate receipts, 30% from sponsorship/commercial revenues and the remaining 2% from various other sources.

· Looking at wages, 2016 was the first time that the average PL wage bill was more than double that of the next highest-paying league (Germany).

· Across Europe, while revenue grew on average by 9.5% between fiscal years 2015 and 2016, wages only grew 8.6%.

· Across Europe, the average wages-to-revenue ratio is 62.5%. In England, it`s 63%.

· The report also mentions that “among the 20 highest-paying leagues, German club football continues to have the lowest wage to revenue ratios (50%). At the other end of the scale, a number of leagues reported an average wage bill of 70% to 80% of revenue, with Israeli clubs spending on average 80% of all revenue on wages and Ukrainian clubs more than 100%. Given that other, mainly fixed, operating costs tend to absorb between 33% and 40% of revenues, a wage ratio of over 70% is likely to result in losses unless there is a significant surplus from transfer activity (which was the case in Ukraine). This is why it is included as a risk indicator in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations”.

· Looking at THFC`s wage bill, we`ve got the 14th highest wage bill in Europe (AC Milan and Roma, despite having lower revenues, have higher wage bills than us). Of the top 20 clubs listed, THFC are one of only 2 clubs (Milan being the other) whose wage bill actually decreased from 2015 (the average across the top 20 being a growth of 12%).

· The report lists us as having a 50% wages-to-revenues ratio. The average across the top 20 is 61%. We`re one of 5 clubs in that top 20 with a ratio of 50% or less.

· The average PL wage bill in 2016 was 153.9 million ?. Ours was 140 million.

There`s a lot more information on operating costs (ours, at 86 million or 31% of our revenues, are higher than the PL average of 26% but lower than the 33% average across Europe) or profitability (we rank very high). There is also some interesting information about the results of FFP introduction, among other things. For more information, here is the link to the report:


44 Replies to “UEFA Benchamrk Report 2016 – Our Spurs Focus”

  • The article should of course read “essentially, more than any European club except for the 5 usual suspects in England, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, PSG and Dortmund” instead of listing Juventus twice.

  • This all kind of makes me wonder how on earth THFC can afford all the recent investment and reinvestment into the club AND still pay our players as much as we actually do. And, whilst not winning stuff as well, which of course raises the clubs profile and generates even more revenue. Levy and Lewis must be bloody financial Geniuses. Which is nice.

    Anyone for a cuppa? One Sugar or two?

  • Highlights why we need a new stadium. Its interesting how the way stuff is presented changes the message. “12th highest in Europe” sounds much better than ” there are eleven clubs with more money than us who will get first pick on players”.

  • Jod – even assuming that’s true, those 11 clubs can only buy so many players. Assuming they all have squads of about 25 players, that should only account for the top 275 players in the world. Of the remaining millions of players out there, is there really nobody better than Sissoko?

  • It’s also interesting to point out that despite being the 6th richest club in England, our wage bill is actually almost 10% lower than the PL average. Either every other club in the PL is run by imbeciles and most of those clubs are heading for administration imminently, or there is probably an argument to be made for a higher wage bill without bankrupting our club. Toby’s agent must be reading this report wondering why those extension talks are so hard.

  • BelgianSpur – “Better than Sissoku” isn’t going to win you anything.If you are going to spend money you want it to be on someone who will actually make a difference, take you up a level. Those are the players that tend to be on the radar of those eleven clubs who can outbid us. That’s why we have tended to do better where we have developed players rather than buying the finished article. As for clubs being run by imbeciles, you could make a strong case for that. I read an article on Barcelona recently detailing how one of the four biggest clubs in the world had managed to get itself into so much debt it was having major problems financing the purchase of new players.

  • The biggest problem about the 11 clubs richer than us in Europe, is that 5 of those clubs are in our own league.. Also, surely the EPL wage average of 153.9 million is heavily impacted by about 4 or 5 rich clubs who are massively out of sync with the rest of the league.

  • Guyver – definitely a fair point. But the weight of 4 or 5 out of 20 is still a limited weight. Given where our club is compared to the average, there are probably quite a few teams who have larger wage bills than us yet make nowhere near what we generate in revenues (sadly the report doesn’t offer a full breakdown of each club by league). Are those clubs still going to be around in 5 or 10 years? We’ll see.

  • jod – also a fair point re Sissoko (I just used him as an example of an imperfect squad player). But having a second striker who can offer something different off the bench, and who will actually score goals in our system, would probably improve us and/or win us a game once in a while. That would make a difference and I don’t think we need to spend 70 million on that player. In Llorente, we have bought a player who is neither for the future, nor an immediate fix for our problems. He’s not a bad player but he’s wasted if we don’t play to his strengths – and we’ve very rarely done that so far. There are ways we could improve our squad without having to improve our 11 and/or pay immense fees.

  • BelgianSpur, we’ve always had the 6th highest wage bill in the league. You take out Man Utd and/or Chelsea and the PL wage average drops significantly. They skew the wage average statistics quite a bit.

  • Also the document does show the top 20 highest wage bills across Europe on page 86. We rank 14th, with the obvious 5 EPL clubs way above us. Arsenal (9th) the closet PL club above us, spend ?263m, compared to our ?140m. The closet PL club below us is Everton who spend ?128m. So you can see how the 5 big PL clubs have had an effect on the EPL average, to bring it up to ?153.9m despite the fact, 75% of the EPL don’t pay those wages.

  • BelgianSpur – Would agree on the second striker but we’ve been looking for that player for three years now. Janssen failed, Llorente is failing. When you look at other clubs experience the omens aren’t good. There was heavy criticism when we didn’t sign Batshuayi but he’s not set the world alight at Chelsea, even Morata isn’t looking the player we thought he was two months ago. Arsenal fans were jubilant when they signed Lacazette, he was going to be their Harry Kane. They aren’t so happy with him now. It just seems to me that finding strikers who can perform in the premier league at the level we want is not that easy. If you want the player to fit our system it restricts you even more. Every so often a club gets lucky, Arsenal with Sanchez, Liverpool with Salah. But the reality is there are far more (relative) failures than successes. I have a suspicion we will end up developing our own second striker because we can’t buy one whose good enough. I may be wrong.

  • Financing transfers is greatly helped if you can sell players like Neymar,Mpappe & Coutinho.Liverpool have over £100 million to spend on players because of this. If Levy was that clever he would spend more of Spurs budget on a top scouting team so he can sign budding genius’s before other well run clubs get them. It’s a dog eat dog world & Levy is not keeping up with the realisation that inspired recruitment means you buy thoroughbreds ,not donkeys with no sell-on value.

  • Guyver – I think you missed the original point I was trying to make. Of course, the clubs who have higher revenues are going to have a higher wage bill. The interesting thing for me is not to look at absolute figures. What is striking to me is that clubs that have higher revenues are not only paying more in wages in absolute money (relatively normal), but they’re also paying more proportionally. Arsenal’s wages-to-revenue ratio is 55%. So is City’s. Liverpool’s and Chelsea’s are at almost 70%. Everton, despite having significantly smaller revenues than us, come close to our wage bill because they’re dedicating a full 78% (!) of revenues to wages. There is an argument to be made, and the report/article makes it, that anything over 70% is dangerous/unsustainable. However, the point is that we?re not only not ?punching our weight? in absolute money, we?re also not doing so in relative terms. Clubs like Everton are being very aggressive to try to compete, and that may backfire. On the other hand, not only are we already at a disadvantage in terms of absolute revenue, we?re still choosing to dedicate less of the revenues we do have to wages, ie being overly conservative, when compared to all other PL teams.

  • jod – is our inability to find a 2nd striker not just down to our failures in recruitment? Or is it really impossible to buy a good striker in the PL? I think Batshuayi is a good example. Despite having little opportunities to shine and clearly not being rated by Conte for whatever reason, he’s still scored 17 goals in 50 apps for Chelsea, most of them as a sub. That’s not so bad, considering. In any case it’s a return I’d gladly take from a second striker, and a lot better than anything Janssen managed. And for every failure you list, let’s have a look at the Gabriel Jesus or Oliver Girouds of this world, who still find the net on a relatively regular basis despite not being first choice. Even Lacazette has score 8 PL goals in 23 PL apps so far, so he isn’t that far from the “1 in 2” ratio normally used as a benchmark for success for strikers.

  • Not paying the market rate on wages backs up my critique of Levy.How can you sign quality players if you don’t pay top wages.This is a false economy by a man who can’t see the wood for the trees.

  • Belgian,completely agree.How many goals have Sissoko & Llorente scored for us.Perfect examples of Levy’s stupid purchases.

  • Moura on loan would be good deal for Spurs.A proper winger for a change. I doubt it will happen with Capt. Meanypockets doing the negotiations.

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