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Wages vs. Turnover Ratio of Champions League Semifinalists 2019



April 30, 2019

For football clubs’ wages make up the vast majority of their expenditure so is important that clubs ensure that their wages are at a manageable and sustainable level, especially since the introduction of financial fair play. The following article will analyse the four remaining clubs left in the Champions League with specific focus on their wage expenditure compared with turnover.


FC Barcelona

From the results the calculations show that FC Barcelona have a ratio of 75.7% which can be considered to be extremely high. In fact Barcelona are the first team to have a wage bill that is over 500 million. However, this figure can be considered to be somewhat inflated by the large deal that Lionel Messi signed recently in order to keep him at the Camp Nou. It can be strongly argued that without Messi in the squad, FC Barcelona would not have the total revenues that they do and therefore his high wages are justified.


Out of the four clubs remaining Tottenham have the lowest ratio at 34.5% which can be considered to be low, especially for a club this deep in the Champions League. Tottenham have one of the highest revenues in the Premier League and recently reported the highest profits for a football club at over 100 million Euros.  Their low ratio is quite impressive. One positive for Tottenham is that they have room for investment in their team under the Premier League short-term cost control rules which may get them further and help cement them as one of Europe’s elite. On the flip side they will have to increase the wages of their top stars such as Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli in order to keep them from moving elsewhere. 



Ajax have a wages to revenue tratio of 57.7%. The main difference with the Dutch club is their significancantly lower turnover. In fact, Ajax's revenue is just under 600 million in difference with FC Barcelona. It is evident that from a financial standpoint Ajax is the weakest out of the four remaining semifinalists, which adds additional merit for their UCL performance this season.  



Liverpool have a wages to revenue ratio is 46.5%. Their annual turnover ranks them as the seventh highest-earning club in world football with 513.7m in turnover, according to the latest Football Money League Report published by Deloitte. Although the club has high-earning stars such as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil Van Dijk in the squad, their overall wage bill can be considered moderate compared with other top-flight clubs in Europe. 


Key Takeaways

  • Tottenham have done very well to get the semifinals as they are spending considerably less on wages compared with other clubs in the competition. Couple this with the new stadium and Tottenham could be moving themselves into the European elite with a little more investment in the squad.

  • FC Barcelona have the highest wage bill in all of professional sports. Having Leo Messi on the squad together with other top players such as Suarez, Coutinho, and Dembele means the Catalan club spends over 500 million euros annually in player wages. 

  • Ajax's performance in the UCL is already a success that will guarantee them increased revenues for next year. Interesting to note that the Dutch Eredivisie will become the first league in Europe that will redistribute revenues from UEFA competitions. In the future, Ajax performances in the Champions League willl support the development of domestic football as a whole. 





This article was written by Connor Eade of SBI's marketing team. For further information please contact us at info@sbibarcelona.com 


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