Hat football has become a big business that cannot be denied. It is not so clear that it is the same for everyone. According to a report published by Deloitte for the 2016/17 season, 14 of the 30 of the 30 most deserving clubs are English, five Italian, four German, three Spanish and two French. Portugal managed to place only one club – Benfica – among the 30 richest clubs in the world in the Deloite Football Money League.
Manchester United, with a turnover of € 676.3 million, remained in first place, closely followed by Real Madrid (€ 674.6 million) and FC Barcelona (€ 648.3 million). According to British newspaper The Sun, Manchester City – Fifth in the Deloitte rankings – wants to make Pep Guardiola the world’s best-paid football coach with an extension to 2021 and an annual salary of € 22.1 million, four million more than he receives today. This offer would take Guardiola’s top players such as Leo Messi (€ 25 million), Neymar Jr. (€ 30 million) or Cristiano Ronaldo (net € 21 million per year).
The figures are amazing and there are no signs of a recession given the increasing globalization of the football industry. For a man who has been dedicated to researching football for more than 30 years, researching the reasons for its growth and noticing the risk some clubs have of losing their social essence for that “company” is not just a specialty but a fascinating challenge.
We had the opportunity to analyze the financial side of football with Stephen Morrown, a sports finance expert at the University of Sterling, during his visit as a visiting lecturer in the Master of Football business together with FC Barcelona.
What do you think about the current state of the football industry worldwide? What are the main trends and what changes are needed, if any?
The football industry is currently a fascinating field to look at, to be involved. I find it amazing when you look at the changes that have taken place over the last decade. It’s hard for me to imagine what happens next, and it’s something I don’t want to predict, but it’s an incredible change in many ways, phenomenally successful. See club income levels in some of Europe’s best leagues. It’s an exceptional success story, and from the payroll of players and others, we can see that this looks like a thriving industry. On the other hand, it is clear that it may highlight differences between leaks in some major European countries and in other countries. We see big differences between leagues, countries and clubs in those countries. I think that puts the challenges of football into pure social competition. The company is growing at the forefront, but in fact, football in Europe has always been more than just one or two major countries. I think it is challenging for UEFA and others to find out how we consider football to be relevant in some other countries in their national federations.
The growing dimension of football around the world and the commercial growth of larger clubs, what impact do fans and supporters have on clubs?
We see how people use football, how football has a global dimension; that part is not the only part of football clubs. There are still too many clubs, even the biggest clubs, but of course these clubs are now international brands, they also have an international dimension, and I think it poses challenges for the club to make sure they don’t lose sight under any circumstances. their history and connection to specific cities or regions, as it essentially also gives them the strength of international brands. So it is inevitable as business grows, but there is also a risk that football clubs, not to mention where they come from, not to mention that the strength of these clubs is due in part to this connection to society and society.
How did marketing affect the relationship between supporters and football clubs?
You look at football clubs and wonder: are they companies or communities? Are they a combination of both? I think, of course, the reality is that many of them try to be a combination of both, but there is always a risk involved in applying business models or business practices: you are jeopardizing social conditions that add value to it. brand basic. And I think the lives of clubs and club leaders in the industry are a bit of a balancing act.