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European Leagues


Cost of kit and sponsorship deals rises rapidly

The cost of football kit and sponsorship deals has been rising rapidly.   Manchester United set the tone when it switched from Nike to Adidas kits in 2015, in a deal worth around £75m a year.  Barcelona did even better.   By extending its Nike kit deal last month, the club more than doubled its annual revenue from kit to €150m a year.

Row over future of Champions League

Europe's top clubs are pushing for radical changes to the Champions League in order to secure more funds to offset the financial dominance of the Premier League.    

Clubs particularly in Italy and Spain are pushing for changes that would involve more matches between top teams.   They argue that this could be more lucrative in terms of commercial and media revenue.

FC Twente to fight relegation punishment

FC Twente are to fight a decision to relegate them from the Dutch Eredivisie, which they won in 2010, to the second division for financial irregularities.   The decision stems from the sale of player transfer fee rights to outside investors.

The licensing commission could have revoked their right to play professional football altogether, but this would have been difficult with a well supported club.   However, relegation will strain their finances.

Warning signs of insolvency

Soccer economics guru Stefan Szymaski has been undertaking work on insolvency in football clubs.  In particular, he has been taking a look at the French leagues where a stringent regulatory system has been praised by the international football authorities.   However, it does not seem to make much difference in the incidence of insolvency compared with the English leagues.

What does seem to be a warning sign is if attendances fall away over a few years below what might be expected from league position.

Barcelona need to reduce debts

Barcelona need to reduce their debts by €100m if the redevelopment of the Camp Nou is to go ahead. The club has debts of around €300m and the redevelopment would cost €360m.   Transfer policy could also be affected,

Chinese group may buy AC Milan

The owner of AC Milan, Silvio Berlusoni, has been in negotiations with Galatioto Sports about the sale of the club.  They are representing a Chinese consortium headed by Robin Lee, the sixth richest man in China.

The intial offer would be for 70 per cent of the shares and is believed to be €700m.  The remaining 70 per cent would be acquired at a later date.

Italian football needs overhaul

This blog post suggests that Italian football requires a major overhaul if it is to regain its former stature. Doubtless so, but some of the five suggestions put forward would prove controversial, not least merging clubs.   The personal identity of fans is tied up with clubs and successful mergers are few and far between.

The petrodollar derby

Tonight's Champions League game between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain is more than a clash between teams representing two major European cities.   It is also has a geopolitical dimension, built around Arab oil wealth.   It is Qatar versus Abu Dhabi, the al-Thani family versus the al-Nahyan family.

Dr Christopher Davison, a reader in Middle East Politics at Durham University, has described the acquisitions of City and PSG as part of 'soft power' strategies ('hard power' is generally associated with military might).

Champions League spot secure

England's fourth Champions League spot is secure for 2017-18 afterJuventus were defeated by Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.   England now has a lead of 3.97 coefficient points over Italy, although the longer term Italian challenge remains a concern.

Champions League revenue and the associated prestige is of vital importance to top clubs.

'Leicester don't matter' says breakaway boss

The man behind the idea of a breakaway European super league has argued that Leicester City do not matter in terms of the global popularity of football.  'What would Manchester United argue, did we create soccer or Leicester?', said Charlie Stillitano, chairman of Relevent Sports.

The 'big five' teams would make far more money if they were guaranteed entry to a revamped Champions League.   Clubs like Manchester United deserved a permanent place in the competition.