Unprofessional Foul


March 11, 2010

Football Is A Beautiful Business, Unless You Borrow Too Much

When it rains, it pours.

Real Madrid’s Champions League loss to Lyon yesterday was damaging in more ways than one and the schadenfreude is delightful.  The pride of Los Galacticos 2.0 surely took a nice hit, but it’s the pocketbook of Real Madrid that might be hurt even more by the loss.  Not only do they miss out on the chance to collect a total of $82m that the CL winner would collect, but the $300m spending spree last summer is not paying off as well the club expected.

Let’s not stop the piling on… it’s just too fun. 

Bloomberg News reported the day before Real Madrid’s loss that the new stars at the club have failed to increase the ticket sales for the club.  This year has seen a 7.8% decline in attendance at the Estadio Bernabeu.  Moreover, Real Madrid does not even have the best selling kits in the world — according to adidas, both Chelsea and Liverpool have better sales.  That those two clubs without any new stars can outsell a club that brought on two past Ballon d’Or winners, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, and French star Karim Benzema is astonishing.

Last fall Roman Calderon Florentino Perez expected revenue to increase 3.5% to about €420m based mainly on increased ticket sales and stadium related income.  Ooops.  That doesn’t seem likely when attendance is down and they can’t outsell Chelsea and Liverpool in kit sales.

And how did that renegotiated deal with adidas go for Real Madrid? Oh. Haha.

It’s not all dour for Real Madrid, though; the club is in the middle of a €1.1bn TV contract that will provide a third of the income the club projects to earn during the current fiscal year.  Too bad they couldn’t negotiate that deal after the spending spree.  Foresight, forethought and whatnot.

So, the big question is: does Real Madrid blow up management or just print more money this summer?

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