As the world slowly returns to "normal", whatever that means, many international soccer clubs are facing enormous amounts of debt. The knee-jerk reaction is to blame the pandemic, as clubs lost ticket revenue as well as indirect income through lost matches and reduced retail sales.
However, a rather casual dive into some of the insane contracts for top stars may reveal another problem.
Lionel Messi, the world's most recognizable soccer player outside of Ronaldo, just signed such a large contract it is hard to even conceive how he would spend the money in several lifetimes. Paris Saint-Germain will be paying Messi roughly $75 Million a year for the next two years. Last I checked, soccer teams need 11 players on the field, so imagine their total payroll! Messi also got a $30 Million bonus, just to sign the contract!
So who is in debt? Below is a rundown of the clubs with the top amount of debt, led by Tottenham Hotspur. Keep in mind, a more recent report shows Barcelona's debt is now up to €1.35 billion (Euro News, 2021).
Swiss Ramble on Twitter: "Reasons for the European Super League, part 2: the 12 clubs have £5.6 bln of debt, per UEFA's definition of financial debt (£3.5 bln) and transfer debt (£2.1 bln). Moreover, almost all of the financial debt has come from banks (£3.3 bln), compared to only £0.2 bln from owners. pic.twitter.com/Ck6YUp0Fbg / Twitter"
Reasons for the European Super League, part 2: the 12 clubs have £5.6 bln of debt, per UEFA's definition of financial debt (£3.5 bln) and transfer debt (£2.1 bln). Moreover, almost all of the financial debt has come from banks (£3.3 bln), compared to only £0.2 bln from owners. pic.twitter.com/Ck6YUp0Fbg
Not sure how these clubs plan to recover from this, we will keep a close eye on their financial strategies.
~Michael Patrick Day, Irish Proud & 12oz Sports Writer
Euronews (2021). '€1.35 billion': Barcelona President reveals extent of Spanish club's rising debt. Retrieved https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/16/1-35-billion-barcelona-president-reveals-extent-of-spanish-club-s-rising-debt
Reuters (2021). Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain deal includes cryptocurrency payment. Retrieved https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4452125/lionel-messis-paris-saint-germain-deal-includes-cryptocurrency-payment