Friday, 23 May 2014

Champions League Final Between Atletico Madrid And Real Madrid Pits David Against Goliath

Tomorrow’s Champions League final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid should be an even battle on the pitch. But when it comes to finances the two sides are as far apart as David and Goliath.

This year, Atletico captured Spain’s La Liga title for the first time since the 1995-96 season, finishing just three points ahead of third place Real. Early in the season Atletico defeated Real 1-0, and four months later the two sides fought to a 2-2 draw.

But financially the two sides are miles apart. Real generates more revenue ($675 million) than generated $172 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) during the 2012-13 season, second the the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys ($251 million). A recent survey published by ESPN shows Real Madrid paid its players an average of $7.6 million last season, fourth-most among any sports team. Real sports two mega stars on its roster–Cristiano Ronaldo and Garth Bale–that are both prolific on the pitch and famous off it.

In contrast, Atletico Madrid’s revenue and operating income were just $156 million and $36 million, respectively. And the team has had such serious debt problems that three years ago it fell behind in its tax payments. Atletico’s average player salary was $2.6 million, 87 places behind Real. While Diego Costa had a great season, Atletico Madrid’s roster is devoid of players with the celebrity of Ronaldo or Bale.

Which is a big reason why winning the Champions League would be far more beneficial for Atletico than Real. The difference between first and second place may be worth only about $5 million. But the prestige of winning the Champions League (Atletico has never won the title, while Real Madrid has won nine) would enhance Atletico’s brand globally and long-term ability to increase sponsorship revenue. More revenue would enhance Atletico’s ability to remain a championship contender. Recall that Real Madrid open up its wallet a decade ago, signing the likes of David Beckham, to help it become a financial powerhouse.

Just look at what defeating Goliath did for David.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I see this football match and enjoy this match. Thanks for your informative post.