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Football has become more superstar-centric

Commenting on the Neymar transfer, soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski has said that it shows how a team sport has moved towards a superstar-centric model.

He told the Financial Times, 'If you think how football was 30 years ago, the overwhelming majority of a team's money came from the local fan base.   The difference today is the global reach of teams, through all forms of media, so that the revenue generating potential comes from global celebrities like Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo.'

Neymar and financial fair play

Sports lawyer Daniel Geey discusses how the signing of Neymar by Paris Saint-Germain relates to financial fair play (FFP) rules.

The FFP rules were revised in 2015, so clubs must show that they do not have losses of more than €30m over a three year period, although spending on stadiums and youth development are exempted.  Javier Tebas, La Liga president, believes the Neymar deal would breach FFP.

The story behind the Neymar transfer

It is very unusual for a football transfer story to make the front page of the Financial Times, but that applies to Neymar's transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain at a total cost of £415m. It is more than twice the sum Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer and two and a half times that paid to United by Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo

Neymar on par with Messi in salary stakes

Paris Saint-Germain are expected to formalise their bid to sign Neymar in a deal worth more than £500m this week.   It would place him on a par with Lionel Messi as the best paid footballer on an annual salary of £55m.   Neymar's father should be able to take eight figure commissions on the transaction.

Messi is first £1m a week player

Barcelona are to pay Lionel Messi a basic wage worth more than £1m a week.   Messi's gross salary under a four year contract has been set at an annual €60m (£54.8m).   If the contract runs for its full term Barca are committed to paying him £220m before performance bonuses.

Barcelona had total revenues of €620.2m (£548.6m at current exchange rates) in 2016, the second highest figure in football after Manchester United.  Last season the club budgeted for €695m of income and, according to its own analysis, Messi contributed 20 per cent of that figure.  

TV boosts football club values by €3bn

The combined worth of European football's leading clubs grew by about €3bn over the past year, boosted by the escalating value of broadcasting deals.   According to KPMG, the combined enterprise value of Europe's 32 richest sides was close to €30bn in 2016, a rise of 14 per cent from the previous year.

The list is dominated by Premier League clubs and is topped by Manchester United, which became the first club to be valued at more than €3bn.   Six other English clubs are among the 10 most valuable in Europe.

The financial rewards of the Champions League

Juventus will earn €115m if they win the Champions League (€98m up to now) while Real Madrid will earn €82m (€67m up to now).   Barcelona have earned €59m. These figures come from the author of the Swiss Ramble blog.

In the Premier League, Leicester City earned €78m through their progress to the quarter finals.  Arsenal earned €62m, indicating how much they stand to lose if they do not qualify this year.  Manchester City brought in €48m and Tottenham Hotspur €42m.

The rush to China

Barcelona is the latest European football club to invest in China on the back of President Xi Jinping's plans for a football revolution.  They have opened a €4m complex featuring a football school, Barcelona shop and fan zone on the island of Hainan.  They believe that revenues from China will be critical to Barcelona's target of generating €1bn of revenue by 2021, up from €679m in the 2015/16 season.

Big spending does not always guarantee success

Using a KMPG database, the Financial Times has analysed the accounts of 69 clubs over four seasons. The results reveal that big spending does not always guarantee success.

Premiership clubs make profit in transfer window

Premier League clubs made a net profit of £4m in the transfer window compared with a loss of £109m last year, according to figures from the Premier League. This January's transfer window saw the biggest spend ever of £237m, compared with £178m last year. Sales amounted to £241m.

According to figures from Deloitte Sports Business, the gross spend by Premier League clubs in the 2016/17 season totals £1.4 billion, surpassing the previous record of £1 billion by more than a third.