English excesses exported?
Posted by John Beech on February 16, 2010
With Deloitte’s annual publication of its Football Money League, identifying what Deloitte euphemistically calls the ‘richest’ clubs (it is based on revenues and conveniently ignores debts), we have become used to English clubs being at the vanguard of high revenues. In its most recent version published almost a year ago (1) there were seven English clubs in the Top 20. In addition to Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle (doubtless set to disappear from the next list) and Manchester City (equally doubtless set to have roared up the Top 20), Germany and Italy have four representatives each, Spain and France two clubs each, and Fenerbahce slipping into the list at no.19, which was historically occupied by one of the Auld Firm.
Although now a year out of date, the list might serve as an indicator of the salaries clubs would be prepared to pay in 2009/10. A list (2) of the Top 50 Players Wages for 2009/10 published by the excellent futebolfinance website (now added under the Links tag above) suggests that either English clubs are reigning in their wild costs or their profligate spending has started to catch on abroad.
Of the five most expensive players, four play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, with Eto’o of Inter squeezing his way into this otherwise Spanish forward line. Of the top 19 players, who earn 6.5m euros a year or more, eight play for English clubs, two for Italian teams, and nine for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Of the Top 50, 20 play in England, 17 in Spain (mostly for the familiar two, but with single representatives from Seville, Valencia and Atletico Madrid), 9 in Italy for a selection of the bigger clubs, and 4 in Germany (all for Bayern Munich).
Too much might be made of this data, but there is certainly a suggestion that Real Madrid and Barcelona are pushing ahead in the high salary stakes, seemingly unconcerned by the problems that the debts of their English counterparts have brought to the fore recently. Real’s willingness to spend, financed by bank loans, suggests that once again others in football follow the English way, perhaps not altogether wisely in this case.
Finally of interest in the futebolfinance list to followers of English football is that there are seven players from Chelsea in the Top 50, and six Manchester City players compared to four from Manchester United. The only other English clubs to feature are Liverpool with two and a lone Arsenal player just scraping in.