With the end of the Premier League won by Liverpool 30 years later and with Jamie Vardy as the leading scorer, we present you the relationship between the squads’ market value and the league standings as well as the impact on that valuation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The big winner in this analysis is undoubtedly Sheffield United, reaching the 9th position in the championship, presenting the squad with the lowest market value (47 million Euros on 07/2019 and 120 million on 07/2020). The good performances of Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack O’Connell, and Oliver McBurnie contributed to this achievement. We recall that Sheffield United, this season, also presented the lowest average salary per player in the competition as we previously presented here.

Burnley also stood out, reaching 10th place in the championship with the 5th least valued squad at the beginning of the competition and the 4th lowest average salary per player in the Premier League. In the season that has now ended, James Tarkowski, Dwight McNeil, and Chris Wood stood out with 14 goals scored.

On the other hand, the biggest disappointments turned out to be West Ham and Bournemouth which, with squads currently valued at around 288 and 247 million Euros, respectively, and the 9th and 11th most valued squads at the beginning of the season, were unable to abandon the 16th and 18th places in the English league.

Between the 1st of April and the 15th of June, the market values ​​of the squads suffered an abrupt drop due to the pandemic, around 18%, with Manchester City being the most harmed due to the devaluation of its players by about 244 million Euros. With the resumption of the championships, these values ​​have been slowly rising in some cases.

Market values corresponding to 7/15/2019 and 7/15/2020.

COVID-19 impact (difference between the values at 4/1/2020 and 6/15/2020).

Values in million of Euros.

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Still with 4 matches of the round of 16 to be played, on the 17th of June, UEFA announced that the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final will take place in Lisbon, at the Sport Lisboa e Benfica Stadium (will host the final) and José Alvalade Stadium, belonging to Sporting Clube de Portugal. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played in only one leg. A decision is still pending regarding the location of the remaining matches of the round of 16 that may take place in the stadiums of Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munchen, Juventus, and Manchester City or in Portugal, at Estádio do Dragão, belonging to Futebol Clube do Porto and D. Afonso Henriques Stadium, home of Vitória Sport Clube. For now, the presence in Lisbon of the surprising Atalanta, Atlético de Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig are guaranteed.


The cities chosen by UEFA


Year after year, major European cities are bidding to host the final of the world’s biggest competition, the UEFA Champions League. In addition to having announced the new venue for this year’s final, the cities where 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 editions will be held are already known. Between 1993, the year of the first final included in the latest format of the competition, and 2024, there will be 22 stadiums from 20 cities in 14 countries that will have received the 32 finals of the competition with special emphasis on Germany with 6 editions and, in particular, for Munich with 4 finals.


When analyzing the location of the finals, we see that there is a clear preference for the countries of the so-called “Big-5” (Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, and Serie A). Thus, in 2024, Germany, Spain, France, England, and Italy will have received 19 of the 32 finals (59%). Regarding the remaining countries, three “peripherals” stand out: Turkey, Greece, and Portugal, with two finals.

The primacy for the 5 countries of the main European leagues is obviously not be unrelated to the commercial component since they will tend to have more capacity to generate and enhance revenue through their brands, their purchasing power, the centrality in the European continent and their transport facilities.


The economic impact of the last finals


The economic impact in the cities that receive the final of the competition is fundamentally related to stays in hotels and other tourist accommodation, restaurants, other tourist activities, and other services such as security, hospitality, and sponsorships. As you can see in the graph below, the impact on cities varied between 45 million Euros in Rome in 2009 and 53 million in Cardiff more recently.

In 2011, Barcelona and Manchester United faced each other in London with the Blaugrana winning 3-1 with Pep Guardiola “tiki-taka” and Messi as the leader. It is estimated that the final between the two giants generated 52 million Euros and about 110 thousand people traveled to the English capital. In 2017, in Cardiff, the final between Real Madrid and Juventus generated 53 million Euros, the highest value in the finals analyzed and brought about 200 thousand people to the city.


Regarding the Lisbon final in 2014, between the Spanish teams of Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, it is estimated that the economic impact for the Portuguese capital was around 50 million Euros. According to studies carried out, it is believed that 54% of this amount (27M €) was associated with stays, 22% (11M €) with catering, 7% (3.5M €) with other tourist activities and 17% (8.5M €) to other services. Lisbon airport registered an increase of 10 thousand passengers at the weekend of the match, representing an increase of 20% compared to the usual flow and there were about 50 thousand overnight stays in Lisbon and 70 thousand visitors.

The purchasing power of fans who visit the city that hosts the final contributes to these values. As we can see in the graph below, when combining the GDP per capita of the countries of the clubs represented in the final, the Lisbon event in 2014 presents the lowest value of the last 11 editions. The 2013 final in London, between Bayern Munchen and Borussia Dortmund, had the highest value.

The cities, in addition to obtaining revenue and commercial impact in the short-term with the event, also obtain long-term dividends. 2014 final in Lisbon contributed, together with other major events that took place in recent years, such as Euro 2004, to increase the reputation of the city and the country as an organizer of major events. Thus, cities end up profiting in the long run with an increase in tourism, sponsorship, and a greater likelihood of hosting other major events.


UEFA Champions League in Portugal – What impact can we expect?


First of all, we must take into account the fact that the model in which Portugal will host the competition is totally new since, at least, there will be 7 matches in Lisbon instead of just the final. Second, we must also pay attention to the fact that the presence of the public inside the stadiums is also an unknown factor due to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, it is important to consider that international flights are being resumed, allowing fans from the clubs to come, even in the event that they are unable to watch the matches inside the sports venues.


Thus, based on the values ​​mentioned above and two different scenarios, we present an estimate regarding the expected economic impact.


Scenario 1 – No audience at the stadiums

  • 8 teams, staff, UEFA, journalists, sponsors and some fans who move regardless of not being able to access the stadiums – 10,000 people representing 15% of the 2014 flow:
    • Stays in hotel units – 5.4 million Euros
    • Food & Beverage – 1.65 million euros
    • Other tourist activities – 0.5 million euros
    • Other services (considering being affected by only 30% due to the higher number of matches compared to 2014) – 5.95 million euros
      • Total estimated impact = 13.5 million Euros


Scenario 2 – Stadiums with 33% maximum capacity (in line with what is being discussed by La Liga)

  • Assuming 20,000 people per game, 10,000 allocated to each of the 8 clubs and assuming that they will also attend the semi-finals and finals if their club qualifies, it has a maximum potential of 80,000 people;
    • Stays in hotel units – 43.2 million Euros
    • Food & Beverage – 17.6 million Euros
    • Other tourist activities – 5.6 million euros
    • Other services – 13.6 million euros
      • Total estimated impact = 80 million Euros


Regardless of the estimates that can be made, it is certain that the realization of the final stage of the UEFA Champions League will bring benefits, especially in this phase, helping to resume the hotel and food & beverage industry, the media attention and image of the country by welcoming, at least, 8 teams composed of elements with many followers and with a high market value.


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We start publishing today a set of articles that examine the relationship between sporting performance and the average annual salaries paid per player by clubs from the “Big-5” (Barclays Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A). We will start by the state-of-the-art Barclays Premier League.

First, we will look at each season between 2016/2017 and 2019/2020 (until matchday 29) to analyze which clubs achieved better results between these variables. Then, we will examine the 14 clubs that remained on the Premier League during these seasons and how they performed compared with how much they paid on average per player.


In the edition of 2016/2017 of the Barclays Premier League, Chelsea won the competition presenting the 3rd highest annual average salary per player.

From a positive perspective, Bournemouth achieved the 9th position in the competition with only the 19th highest salary value. In the opposite perspective, Sunderland was the case with less success finishing in the last place with the 13th highest average annual salary per player.

Only Hull City presented the same position in the salaries ranking as it did in the competition.


In the following season, Manchester City was crowned champion with the 2nd highest annual average salary per player.

Burnley was the surprise achieving the 7th position in the league with only the 18th highest salary value. On the opposite side, West Bromwich was the case with less success finishing in the last place with the 12th highest average annual salary per player.

Crystal Palace, Everton, and Leicester presented the same position in the salaries ranking as they did in the competition.


In the last edition of the Barclays Premier League, Manchester City won once more the competition presenting the 2nd highest annual average salary per player.

From a positive perspective, Wolverhampton achieved the 7th position in the competition with the 14th highest salary value. In the opposite perspective, Manchester United and Southampton were the cases with less success finishing in 6th and 16th place with the 1st and 11th highest average annual salaries per player.

Only Chelsea and Arsenal presented the same position in the salaries ranking as they did in the Premier League.


With 29 matches played, Liverpool is very close to being crowned champions with the 3rd highest annual average salary per player of the league.

On the positive side, Sheffield United is performing incredibly well in the 6th position in the competition with the lowest salary value. In the opposite perspective, West Ham is, until now, the case with less success occupying the 16th place with the 9th highest average annual salaries per player.

Only Newcastle has, so far, presented the same position in the salaries ranking as they did in the Premier League.

2016/2017 to 2019/2020 – Which club profits more from the players’ salaries

Finally, we analyzed the performance and salaries of the 14 clubs that took part in the Barclays Premier League between 2016/2017 and 2019/2020.

The two giants from Manchester are the clubs with a higher average annual salary per player. Burnley, with recent brilliant campaigns, is the club with more success when comparing sporting performance and salaries since, on average, it achieved the 12th place with only the 18th highest average amount per player.

UEFA Champions League, since taking on this designation in 1992/1993, has had 27 editions. In this period, 13 clubs won it from 7 different countries. The main highlight goes to the Spanish giants Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona with a total of 11 UCL titles (41%) that makes Spain the country with the most UCL victories since 1992/1993.

Only twice UCL has not been won by a club from the countries called “Big-5”: in 1994/1995 by AFC Ajax (Netherlands) and in 2003/2004 by FC Porto (Portugal).

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In theory, countries with a larger population combined with quality professionals and infrastructures will tend to present sports institutions more capable of achieving important titles, as is the case, for example, of Germany. However, several factors must be considered in order to draw valid conclusions. One of them concerns the volume of the country’s population. In this regard, Spain and Portugal are the ones that present the best ratio when comparing the number of UCL titles with the population volume.

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KPMG Football Benchmark released last Thursday its 5th edition of the report on the enterprise value of clubs. Thus, due to the crisis caused by the pandemic of COVID-19, these values ​​will tend to fall due to the necessary market adjustments.

As in previous reports, Real Madrid and Manchester United occupy the first two places in the ranking followed by Barcelona, ​​who came to occupy the third position that belonged to Bayern Munchen, a club that in 27 years has never presented negative financial results.

Another surprise of this edition is the lack of Serie A clubs in the Top-10 since Juventus dropped to 11th place.

Galatasaray was the club that grew the most compared to the previous year (49%) followed by Paris Saint-Germain and Internazionale.

On the other hand, Real Madrid takes 1st place for the third time since 2016 mainly due to the three UEFA Champions League won and a 41% growth in commercial revenues. Manchester United maintained the 2nd position due to the strength of its brand and a significant accumulated EBIT. In 3rd place, Barcelona recorded a 50% growth in operating revenues and 52% in commercial revenues since 2016, thus leading it to rise in one place compared to last year.

Taking into account the group of 32 clubs that are part of this ranking, between 2016 and 2020, its value has always grown (51% accumulated) mainly due to a 44% increase in operating revenues over this period. All revenue streams increased, with broadcasting revenues being the main highlight with an increase of 65% while matchday and commercial revenues grew by 22% and 39%, respectively. Another important fact is the decreasing dependence of 25 of the 32 clubs on matchday revenues.

At the same time, it is important to note that, over the 5 editions of this report, the weight of the Top-10 in the total enterprise value of the 32 clubs has decreased by 4% to 66%.

Regarding individual clubs, in percentage terms, since 2016, Olympique Lyonnais was the club whose value grew the most (193%) followed by Tottenham and Internazionale. In absolute terms, Liverpool was the one that most saw its enterprise value grow (1,385 million euros). On the other hand, AC Milan was the only one to lose value over the years. Concerning financial results (EBIT), Tottenham is the outstanding club with an accumulated value of 439 million Euros.

Celtic FC (Scotland), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco (France), Fenerbahçe SK (Turkey), and Sporting CP (Portugal) were almost at the Top-32 in 2020.

Enterprise Value Ranking (Top-32)


Clubs’ Enterprise Value Variation Ranking (2016-2020)


Enterprise Value Variation Ranking by Country (2016-2020)

Looking at the clubs that were part of the editions of this report between 2016 and 2020, and aggregating them by the country, it appears that the value of the clubs from Ligue 1 has been the one that has gone up the most (74%). In absolute terms, the 1st place belongs to the Premier League clubs (6,225 million Euros).


Finally, between 2016 and 2020, English clubs were the ones that gained the most weight in the total value of the top-32, comprising 39% of it in 2016 and 41% in 2020.

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