Soccer teams make massive sums of money in various ways


The major soccer teams in the world are able to fund player transfers of tens of millions, and even hundreds of million Euros. Many people are left astonished by how easily a big team can buy a player for 50 million Euros as if they are printing money. The biggest soccer transfer to date was in 2017 when Brazilian soccer player Neymar Jr. was bought by Paris Saint Germain from FC Barcelona for a staggering 222 million Euro. This record-breaking transfer fee sent out a huge statement from PSG that they were here to stay.

Teams are able to fund these huge transfers in many different ways. This is also all while paying for the thousands of people who work for the team from the front office to the stadium personnel, and all those necessary to running such a huge business.

The primary method for teams making so much money is actually from the sale of other players. For example, if a team wants to buy a player for 50 million Euros, they can sell a player that they no longer want and use the money from that sale to fund the purchase of a new player. 

This was the case when Liverpool sold Phillipe Coutinho to Barcelona in 2018 for an initial fee of 120 million Euros with around 40 million Euros in bonuses if the team or player reached certain landmarks. Liverpool then took that money and brought in three players who have been key to their success in the Champions and Premier League. They were able to use the money from the sale of Coutinho and use it to buy cheaper players who ended up having a huge impact on the team.

Another way clubs are able to make so much money is through broadcasting rights. In the UK alone, each Premier League club rakes in around 20 million Euro a year from broadcasting rights. UK Broadcasting stations Sky Sports and BT Sports pay the Premier League association in order to have exclusive rights to broadcast the league’s games in Europe. More income comes from the U.S. broadcast rights currently held by NBC Sports and Peacock TV. 

And, of course, there are the ticket sales that also bring in substantial revenue. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously cut into that stream of revenue, but under normal circumstances a team can bring in around four million Euro per home game depending on the size of the stadium. Diehard fans are willing to spend however much money it takes in order to watch their team play live, and some teams take advantage of that loyalty by steadily increasing ticket prices.

Teams also bring in millions through sponsorships and advertisements. Companies will pay huge amounts of money in order for the team to play with the company logo on the front of the jersey. Etihad Airways pays Manchester City to have their company name on the front of the team’s jersey and for the naming rights to the Man City stadium, Etihad Stadium.

Another example is the company Rakuten which pays FC Barcelona an absurd amount of money to have their logo displayed on the front of their jersey. While some dislike the commercialization aspect of it, OH senior Matthew Cartagena comments, “I actually think sponsors add new dimensions to the soccer jerseys themselves. I get a nostalgic feeling of seeing an old jersey with an old sponsor, and it’s such a simple thing that benefits clubs so greatly in the financial aspect.”

Last but not least, soccer teams are able to make a fortune through tournament prize money. Sometimes competing in up to six such tournaments, the better the season a team has the more money the team will make in the tournaments. The winners of the Premier League are given around 150 million Euros per year. In England, there are four domestic trophies up for grabs in the top league which all come with their own prize pools. There is also the Champions League and the Europa League which are at the highest levels of European club soccer.