Wages eat up booming club revenues

The good news: European football is comfortably outperforming the Continent's recession-hit economy with 3 per cent revenue growth from 2010 to 2011.

The bad news: Wages are increasing much faster than revenues, with cumulative losses for top-flight clubs of €1.7bn. As a consequence, 46 clubs, from 22 countries, would have failed Uefa's Financial Fair Play break-even test last season were it in place, with 14 being subject to sanction.

Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are likely to be among them, although none was named in Uefa's alarming annual report on club finances issued today. This review of the 733 top-flight clubs in 53 countries confirmed that football's revenue boom of the last decade, fuelled by increased TV income, has largely been wasted.

The main reason is the growth in players' wages which rose 38 per cent from 2007 to 2011, outstripping the 24 per cent revenue increase. Salaries and net transfer costs now take 71 per cent of revenue. The average investment on youth development was estimated at 4 per cent (8 per cent for small clubs).

The 237 clubs taking part in European competition this season had combined fixed assets (stadiums, training centres, equipment, etc) of €4.8bn. Yet these clubs spent €5bn every year on serving the wage bill.

Other findings

Premier League clubs made 21 of the biggest 50 transfers in summer 2012.

Across Europe, gate receipts are down 2.7 per cent.

Thirty-eight per cent of clubs have debts greater than assets.

More than half of top-flight clubs changed manager last year. Northern Ireland, Wales, Finland and England are the only countries where a manager's average tenure exceeds three years.

Three-quarters of clubs in Europe do not own their own stadium.

Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all