It came as no surprise when Real Madrid topped the Delloitte Money League table for the 9th consecutive year.
The Spanish giants, who have topped the annual rich list since 2006, brought in more than 512 million euros in the 2012/13 season from the three principal revenue streams used to compile the index; match day, commercial and broadcasting. The Spaniards out-earned their fierce rivals Barcelona by €36.3m. Manchester United, who held the No.1 spot between 1996-97 and 2003-04, dropped out of the top three in the Deloitte chart for the first time, with Champions League winners Bayern Munich collecting €7.4m more than the English champions.
Back in September, even some of the most die-hard Madrid fans would have scoffed at the world record 100 million euros splashed on Gareth Bale. Yet, Real Madrid are set to announce a sponsorship deal that would almost wipe that out in just one year.
Los Blancos’ ambitious president Florentino Perez is planning to revamp their iconic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu stadium as soon as the end of this season – in order to generate more avenues of sustained sources of income, and they’re aiming to secure a massive deal for the naming rights as the first step towards their target.
Back at the end of 2013, news broke out that Bill Gates’ software goliath Microsoft were in talks with Los Blancos to acquire naming rights to the 85,454-seater stadium. Microsoft were alleged to have offered €50m-a-year for the asset, however it has now spilled out that Coca Cola are be willing to offer €80m-a-year to Florentino Perez to get the sponsorship deal.
El Bernabéu, renamed in honour of their former chairman Santiago Bernabéu Yeste, is one of the world’s most famous and prestigious football venues. It has hosted the European Cup final on four occasions: in 1957, 1969, 1980, and the UEFA Champions League Final in 2010. The finals for the 1964 European Nations’ Cup and the 1982 FIFA World Cup have also been held at the Bernabéu.The Bernabéu is both the second-largest stadium in Spain and the second-largest stadium home to a top-flight European club, behind only Camp Nou, home to rival Barcelona.
Hardcore Madridistas are said to be against the idea of selling the naming rights of their beloved stadium. But if we look at the changing Football culture across Europe, we will come to know that this is the need of the time. Clubs such as Arsenal, FC Bayern Munchen and Manchester City have already started gaining huge financial boost because of their naming right sales and now, fierce rivals of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona are also ready to revamp iconic Camp Nou and sell its naming rights. Big American baseball clubs have already accepted this idea and selling naming right is one of the most important revenue streams for them.
Now, especially after UEFA’s very ambitious (and manipulated by the likes of PSG and City) Financial Fair Play scheme, clubs big and small are looking to bag any deal in order to keep their books in green. Barcelona, more than any other club, in the last few years announced a deal with Qatar Airways that now sees the company’s logo, along with Barca players, stretched across the Camp Nou. The Catalan club has also sealed a deal with Intel that will see their logo adorned on the inside of their shirts.
Madrid has always been a club that, alongside Manchester United and Barca, leads the way in off-the-field income. A look to Los Blancos’ mid-season friendly against Paris Saint-Germain in Doha was the perfect case in point. Good preparation for the return of La Liga? More like a cool few million in the bank and some extra exposure for Madrid around the globe. These kind of matches, as with pre-season tournaments overseas (and matches against clubs such as lower-division English clubs Leicester City and Bournemouth), have been growing in popularity since the introduction of FFP and won’t slow down. They’ll become the norm.
Top five money league clubs by revenue split:
The above given table is the indicator of Real Madrid’s overall lead on its fellow competitors. And add another 70 million euros to Commercial Income box – Madrid’s revenue levels will almost be unattainable to other clubs.The clubs has also done some redevelopment work at Santiago Bernabeu. The new look of the east stand has only relatively recently been completed and it is superb. The rest of the stadium has been improved in a fabulous way. The capacity will not be increased.
The above given table is also very important to outline the importance of Commercial Income. That is the reason why a deal to name the Bernabeu looks set to be a shrewd peace of business by Perez. Some will question just why Madrid are redeveloping a stadium that is already one of the most modern in Spain and most recognised in the world. Commercial income is going to be the most important source of income generation for the clubs going forward and no one knows better than Real Madrid on how to create new pipelines of revenue. And of course, Madrid won’t just be rolling with the times with this new naming deal; they’ll be leading them, as they often do.
Every penny counts.