Barca post biggest operating revenues among Europe’s champions

La Liga champions Barcelona recorded operating revenues of 839.5 million euros ($935.29 million) in the 2018-19 season, over 200m euros more than any of the other victors in Europe’s eight major leagues, a study from auditing firm KPMG revealed on Wednesday.

The Spanish champions’ revenues eclipsed those of Ligue 1’s Paris St Germain (636 million euros), the Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich (626 million euros) and the Premier League’s Manchester City (610 million euros).

Although Barcelona have won the last two league titles and lead the league at the halfway stage this season, they sacked coach Ernesto Valverde and named former Real Betis coach Quique Setien as his replacement on Monday.

KPMG’s study also included Serie A’s Juventus, the Dutch Eredivisie’s Ajax Amsterdam, Portuguese Primeira Liga victors Benfica and Turkish Super Lig winners Galatasaray, who had the lowest revenue of the eight clubs (146 million euros).

Broadcasting revenue, especially from the Champions League’s new distribution cycle which is worth 1.976 billion euros a year, was the driving factor in the growth of most clubs’ revenues, the study found.

Italian champions Juventus were the notable exception, with the new Serie A domestic TV income distribution system affecting broadcast revenues, but they saw a 30% increase in commercial revenues — thanks mainly to the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“The most striking trend for the year has been broadcasting revenues taking the lead as the main driver for overall revenue increase at seven of the eight champions,” KPMG’s global head of sports and the study’s author Andrea Sartori said.

“In the previous season, commercial income was the key contributor for growth.”

Ronaldo’s transfer fee and high wages also saw Juventus’ losses after tax increase by 20.7 million euros — the only club among the eight to register a loss.

However, all eight clubs were able to control staff costs within the 70 percent threshold ratio of staff costs to operating revenue, which is monitored by European soccer’s governing body UEFA.

Newly-crowned champions such as Ajax and Benfica had the highest year-on-year increase in total operating revenues, with Ajax, who won their first Dutch title in five years, posting a 117% growth.

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