More than 7,500 million euros of debt accumulate the founders. An economic crisis that was already serious before the pandemic. Now much more.
The ranking oscillates between the losses of Chelsea, which has been, curiously, the one that has spent the most this summer in transfers (250 million euros) and those of Arsenal, whose red numbers stand at 125 million. The Super League is made up of 12 major clubs that have, at the same time, large debts, victims of an economic crisis that has been developing in recent years in European football, now accelerated by the pandemic.
But the crisis had already been caused by the bubble of signings above 100 million. United paid that amount for Pogba (2016), Juve for Cristiano (2017), Barça in triplicate with Dembelé (2017), Coutinho (2018) and Griezmann (2019), Madrid for Hazard (2019), and Atlético by Joao Felix (2019), amounts that became a routine matter.
The market exploded with the departure of Neymar (222 million) and Mbappe (180) to Paris SG in the summer of 2017, just when the clubs went into combustion undertaking pharaonic operations. Then, the virus exposed the fragility of the economic structures of the greats, with stratospheric salaries for their great stars, unaffordable in the times of post-pandemic football.
The big clubs need an urgent injection of money to survive
“We want to save football, we are ruined,” admitted Florentino Pérez, the president of Madrid, assuming the daunting photograph of a football that has been living beyond its means for years. Now, the 12 need the desperate help of the Super League to survive the tsunami unleashed by the coronavirus that has caught several clubs, including Madrid, already with the cranes in the new Bernabéu, and Barça, a project that does not start, with investments committed in the construction of the new stadiums. But at the Camp Nou nothing happens yet from the model.
Tottenham, for example, is in second place among the 12 because it still pays the bill for the construction of the new field, at a cost of 1,000 million euros, which was inaugurated two years ago. All the sponsorship and marketing plans for his new temple have been dynamited by the pandemic, also causing a sports crisis, symbolized in the dismissal of Mourinho.
Money for feedback
Arsenal did have time to amortize the creation of the Emirates Stadium, opened in 2006, but not to establish itself with solvency in the elite of European football, which it would now access with a direct invitation. The Super League is a pure economic necessity to allow the greats of the continent to resist in such turbulent times where, in addition, to build new temples money is needed to regenerate squads, as is the case of Barça, Madrid, Juventus, United, City … .
Money that has stopped flowing with the joy and quantity of before because the business stopped short in March 2020. Barça’s debt, the third, reaches 1,173 million euros. And 730 are short-term, so anguish invades the Camp Nou offices, as also happens at the Bernabéu, with 901 million, 203 in the short term.
It may interest you
Hence, this Super League project, simmered for years, exploded at midnight from Sunday to Monday, almost stealthily without any public appearance by its promoters. Florentino is now leading the staging of the Super League, surrounded by the silence of the traitor Agnelli (Juventus) and the power of the American money that commands the Premier (United, Liverpool and Arsenal), accustomed to economically controlled businesses such as the NBA .
“I don’t think the Super League is going to solve the economic problems caused by the coronavirus,” proclaimed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich), one of the great dissidents who advocates “reducing costs” to achieve “a more rational football.” Florentino, and 11 others, defend the other way: more money and more money right now to reactivate a “ruined” business, as they themselves have confessed.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.