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As seen in the recently published UEFA revenue distributions, a lot of money can be earned from European competitions, especially after the 54% increase in TV money in the 2018/19 Champions League. This thread looks at the impact on English clubs in more detail.
UEFA TV money earned by English clubs increased by a third (£105m) in 2018/19 from £322m to £427m, split between £352m from the Champions League and £75m from the Europa League. In fact, their European revenue has more than tripled in just four years – from only £129m in 2015.
UEFA TV money is denominated in Euros, so there is an impact from exchange rates movements, a “Brexit bonus” if you will, as Sterling has weakened against the Euro from 1.34 to 1.13. However, the difference is not that material with the exception of 2015 and 2016.
Only considering revenue earned by the English clubs that qualified for Europe in this period, the share of total revenue contributed by European TV money has increased from 8% in 2015 to 14% in 2019. Note: this excludes income from gate receipts and sponsorship success clauses.
However, there is a clear difference between earnings in the Champions League and the Europa League. In 2018/19, the four CL English clubs received between £80m and £100m, boosted by #LFC and #THFC reaching the final. However, EL finalists #CFC and #AFC only got £35-40m.
20% of #THFC total revenue was contributed by European TV money, the highest in England. They were followed by the other Champions League representatives: #LFC 18%, #MCFC 15% and #MUFC 13%. Unsurprisingly, it was lower in the Europa League with 9% for both #CFC and #AFC.
Over the last eight years (2012-19), English clubs have earned nearly €2 bln in Europe TV money. #MCFC lead the way with €429m, followed by #CFC €365m, #MUFC €337m, #AFC €318m, #LFC €269m and #THFC €250m. The next highest are #LCFC €82m, #EFC €22m and #SaintsFC €15m.
However, this hides the fact that #LFC €192m and #THFC €163m have earned the most in England in the last 2 years, thus reporting massive growth over the preceding 2-year period: #LFC €155m and #THFC €96m. #AFC are the only club to see revenue fall in last 2 years – by €41m.
Looking at European TV money in last 8 years, only #LCFC have broken the monopoly enjoyed by the Big Six in the Champions League. The representatives are more varied in the Europa League, but the highest earnings have again gone to that select group, especially #AFC with €77m.
This means that the Big Six have benefited from an amazing 93% of Europe TV money in the last 8 years., leaving only 7% to all the other English clubs. In fact, 4% of that went to #LCFC for their Champions League exploits in 2017, which means just 3% for everyone else.
In the last two years revenue has grown by £488m at the Big Six English clubs. Over half of that (£251m) is down to Europe TV money, which is a meaningful sum. Next highest is commercial £156m, followed by match day £46m and domestic TV £35m (but new deal in 2019/20).
We will next review the Big Six English clubs individually to see how important Europe TV money has been to their revenue growth over the last 2 years. This will help explain some of the relative movements in total revenue (and how positions have changed in the Money League).
#AFC impressive run of qualifying for the Champions League 17 years in a row, culminating in revenue rising from £23m in 2014 to £55m in 2017, came to an end with them competing in the Europa League for last 2 years. Despite reaching the 2019 final, revenue has fallen to £34m.
#AFC highest Europe TV money was the £55m they earned in 2017 for reaching the last 16 (naturally), when this accounted for 13% of their total revenue. There are slimmer pickings in the Europa League, so their earnings have dropped by 40% to £34m (9% of total revenue).
The failure to qualify for the more lucrative Champions League means that #AFC revenue has decreased in the last two years from a peak of £416m in 2017 to £393m in 2019 (excluding player loans).
In fact, #AFC are the only team in the Big Six whose revenue has fallen in the last two years. The £23m reduction from £416m to £393m is almost entirely driven by the £21m decrease in Europe TV money, though commercial and match day are also lower, by £6m and £4m respectively.
Even though #CFC won the Europa League in 2019, their £41m earnings were still £17m (29%) lower than the £58m they received for reaching the Champions League last 16 in the previous season.
#CFC £58m in 2018 was the highest amount they received to date from Europe, though the £48m distribution in 2012 actually represented the largest percentage of total revenue, namely 19%. Europe’s share dropped to 9% in 2019, due to playing in the Europa League.
Despite the lower money from the Europa League, #CFC revenue has continued to rise, increasing four years in a row, though the 2019 year-on-year growth was only £4m.
#CFC revenue growth in the last two years was a healthy £85m from £361m to £447m. Europe TV money was one of the main reasons with a £41m increase, as the Blues did not qualify for Europe at all in 2017, but this was outpaced by £47m commercial growth.
#LFC did not qualify for Europe in 3 of the 6 years up to 2017, so their striking improvement in the last 2 seasons has had a dramatic impact on their finances, as the Reds earned £72m in 2018 for reaching the Champions League final, then £98m in 2019 when they won the trophy.
Unsurprisingly, the £98m that #LFC received in 2019 for winning the Champions League (for the sixth time) represents their highest ever earnings from Europe TV, accounting for 18% of their total revenue, up from 16% the prior season.
Largely as a result of their success on the pitch, #LFC revenue has shot up in recent years, more than doubling in 5 years from £256m in 2014 to £533m in 2019 with growth across all revenue streams: Europe TV £98m, commercial £82m, domestic TV £65m and match day £32m.
In fact, #LFC £168m revenue growth in the last 2 years (from £365m to £533m) is the highest in the Premier League. The majority has come from Europe TV £98m, though commercial also improved by £49m.
#MCFC are the only English club to have qualified for the Champions League in each of the last 8 years. This means that their earnings from Europe TV have steadily grown over the period, apart from 2016 when they reached semi-final, so saw a disproportionate increase.
The highest amount of Europe TV money that #MCFC has earned is £82m last season, which was equivalent to 15% of their total revenue. However, this was not quite their highest share, which was 16% in 2016.
#MCFC revenue has just about doubled in 6 years from £271m in 2013 to £535m in 2019. Europe TV money grew by a healthy £58m in this period, but was outpaced by both domestic TV £107m and commercial £84m.
However, in the last 2 years, #MCFC £62m revenue growth was largely driven by Europe TV £39m with much smaller increases in the other revenue streams: domestic TV £11m, commercial £9m and match day £3m.
The £82m that #MUFC received for reaching the Champions League quarter-finals in 2019 is by far the highest they earned in the last 8 years, more than twice as much as £36m the prior season when they reached CL last 16, partly due to introduction of new UEFA coefficient ranking.
Europe TV money accounted for 13% of #MUFC total revenue in 2019, so much more important than previous years. This will be reflected in their 2019/20 financials, as they only qualified for the Europa League, which the club estimates will reduce revenue from £627m to £560-580m.
In fact, apart from Europe TV, revenue growth at #MUFC has stalled. Despite Ed Woodward’s comment that “playing performance doesn’t really have a meaningful impact on what we can do on the commercial side”, this has been essentially flat for the last 4 years: £268m to £275m.
The lack of #MUFC revenue growth in the last two years is even more striking. The new Champions League TV deal (plus introduction of UEFA coefficient ranking) delivered £44m of their total £46m increase. Commercial and match day were actually (slightly) down.
#THFC earned hardly anything from five years in the Europa League between 2012 and 2016, but their fortunes changed after qualifying for the more lucrative Champions League in the last three years, especially in 2019 when they received a hefty £90m for reaching the final.
The increasing importance of Europe TV money to #THFC is very clear, as this contributed 20% of their total revenue in 2019, compared to only 2% in 2015. On top of this, we should add increased match day and better sponsorship agreements.
That said, #THFC revenue has significantly grown in all revenue streams in the last 3 years. Since 2016, revenue is up a quarter of a billion from £210m to £459m with commercial £75m (just) leading the way, followed by Europe TV £74m, domestic TV £60m and match day £41m.
#THFC £150m revenue growth in the last 2 years from £310m to £459m is the second highest in the Premier League, only surpassed by #LFC. Europe TV has played an important role here with £50m rise, but there were also significant increases in commercial £58m and match day £36m.
Although some might argue that the strength of the Premier League TV deal means that clubs are not overly concerned about European qualification, we have seen that this is actually an important factor in driving revenue at the top clubs, especially after the rise in 2019 rights.
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