Thesis summary (Financial...clubs) Michel Lukasiewicz .pdf

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Financial disequilibriums of
European football clubs
Thesis director : Matthieu LLORCA, Lecturer at University of Burgundy.
Matthieu LLORCA works on the following topics, football economics, financial
disequilibriums, financial fair-play.


This short Bachelor thesis was realized throughout a Bachelor in Economics, Law and Management
(concentration in Economics) during the scholar years 2011-2012


Short Bachelor thesis written in French
The purpose of this synopsis is to summarize the ideas developed in the thesis. For the entire
comprehension of the issues tackled, I invite you to consult the thesis in its integrality. Please click
on the following link:

Since the 1980s, the multiplication of mass media has enabled football to enter a new
economical era through televisual broadcast rights. These rights reached a global amount of $12.8
billions in 2010 for all 53 European Federations (UEFA). However, televisual rights are far from
being the only source of revenue of clubs, and the profits generated by ticket sales and sponsors
are not negligible at all. But the major issue of such revenus resides in their allocation, which is
anything but fair in Europe.!
On the other hand, clubs expenses did not cease to grow either. However, this rise
happened in a proportion well above that which of the revenues, causing heavy deficit burdens.
These recurrent deficits threaten the longevity of European football, but also intervene as a hazard
on the international level. This is why it is in a football stabilization process that UEFA decided to
address the issue of clubs accounts clean-up through the financial fair-play project.!
This thesis, as well as the research work it required, involves the notions leading to the
comprehension of the explanations and consequences of the disequilibriums - both of incomes and
expenses - that clubs encounter. Moreover, we seek the origins and extents of the disparities that
exist between championships. We also mean to emphasize the utility and implications of the
financial fair-play project that UEFA aims to enforce and that before ranking the European football
nations, enabling us to properly comprehend the extent of an analysis on a country or a group of
countries rather than another.!
The introductive part sets the basis of the analysis and introduces UEFA as the cornerstone
of European football. To what extent does this instance condition football in Europe ?!
The thesis being articulated in two distinct parts, we start by processing the analysis of the
origins of the financial disequilibriums of clubs by firstly tackling the three major profit posts of clubs
that are televisual broadcast rights, ticket sales and sponsoring. We then prove how important it is
for a club to diversify its revenue posts.!
We then analyse the clubs’ expenses, especially with the continuous increase of salaries,
under an unprecedented remuneration policy, that inevitably affects the budgets. We witness how
the Bosman ruling positively impacted the players’ mobility during transfers and increased the
exchanged amounts of money. The first part of the thesis ends with the decoding of existing
relations between the structure of European competitions and their contribution to the survenance
of disequilibriums between European clubs.!
The second part of the thesis enables us to approach the solutions that can exist to permit
the decrease of sports and financial disequilibriums between clubs. We initially proceed an
inventory of the finances of European clubs by accentuating the accumulated debts of the «  Big
Five » clubs. We observe how and to what extent the arrival of firms or uber-wealthy individuals at
the head of clubs can be profitable to the latter. We then develop the theme of the means UEFA set
up in an attempt to halt the accumulation of deficits by clubs and to organize a relative fairness on
a continental scale. The licence give away procedure is a first step that aims at regulating the
management of clubs in several areas, in order to set the basis of financial fair-play. We finally put
under the scope UEFA’s financial fair-play project in such a way that it is highlighted as the
spearhead of the battle against clubs spending more than the revenues they perceive.!

Nota bene : The thesis having been written in early 2012, financial fair-play was only budding. It
would be of definite interest to observe how financial fair-play evolved since then, and until today,
but also to witness the state of progress of the many other issues that are raised throughout this

Table of contents



Introductive part!


1 - The European football instance : UEFA!


2 - Countries ranking!


First part : Disequilibriums of diverse origins between clubs !


1.1 - The revenues of clubs : TV broadcast rights, ticket sales, sponsoring!


1.1.1 - The economical importance of TV broadcast rights!


1.1.2 - Ticket sales should not be underestimated!


1.1.3 - Promotion and sponsoring, an extra for clubs!


1.2 - Two major expense posts for clubs : Salaries and transfers!


1.2.1 - Salaries are the clubs’ first expense!


1.2.2 - Variable transfer expenses!


1.2.3 - The impact of taxes on the expenses!


1.3 - European championships contribute to disequilibriums !


1.3.1 - An organization accentuating disparities!


1.3.2 - Financial disequilibriums leading to a European super-league ?!


Second Part:The solutions put in place to reduce the disequilibriums between clubs!46!
2.1 - Inventory of the clubs’ finances on a European scale!


2.1.1 - How are the European clubs finances situated ?!


2.1.2 - What are the benefits of investors arrivals at the head of clubs !


2.2 - The financial fair-play project !
2.2.1 - The licence give away procedure, birth of financial fair-play!


2.2.2 - Goals and fields of application of financial fair-play!


2.2.3 - Impacts and criticisms of financial fair-play!







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