Financial results shows how much money is in football today.
Chelsea announced the good news that they had only lost £80 million last year, a snip in the Abramovich ocean. Chelsea are also freezing Premier League ticket prices for all non-corporate buyers, including season and matchday tickets for members, youth and senior citizens. Chief executive Peter Kenyon said the club would also reduce ticket prices for Champions League and domestic cup matches.
Read the Chelsea Financial Results article.
Player Earnings and Bonuses
Chelsea’s results highlight player contracts and earnings, and the amount of money that the clubs are having to spend to keep them in the lifestyles they have become accustomed to. Almost half of all clubs income goes to paying wages, ranging from top earners Arsenal’s Thierry Henry and Chelsea’s Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack picking up £130,000 a week each to bottom of the table Watford with Marlon King, their top earner, picking up £12,000 a week.
Premiership players are still a way off the City where six-figure salaries are topped off with bonuses, which totalled £8.8billion last year. Several mega-rich financiers picked up bonuses of more than £40million each which would make even David Beckham consider a career change.
Puma leaps ahead
Away from the premiership, football boot maker Puma saw profits in the 4th quarter of 2006 fall by 26% despite a jump in sales of almost 38%. Costs at the German sports goods firm surged as it spent more to improve its outlets and branding diversity. Puma expects sales in 2007 to be even better, so is upbeat about its performance and future, even though there are plenty of rumours around the market that its bigger rival Nike is interested in buying Puma.
Puma is also working hard to compete with its German rival Adidas this year as there are no high-profile sporting events, unlike last year when World Cup soccer winners Italy wore Puma. It is also a key supplier to many African teams including newly signed Morocco (Read more). Puma’s sales totalled £1.6 billion last year as it opened new stores and spent money developing markets in Asia, the Pacific and Africa. It still lags behind the global strength of market leader Nike, which had sales of nearly $8 billion in 2006.
Sponsorship deals, endorsements and salaries reaching new heights, football as a business is turning over billion of pounds of business a year, yet investment in grass roots football gets relegated to the reserves. With England struggling to qualify for Euro 2008 are we already seeing the results of a lack of investment in the English national team?