Deloitte reports new reality for football industry


Deloitte rattled out a quick summary of transfer spend in the window just closed in the richest five European leagues.  Clubs in two of the five, the Bundesliga and La Liga, made profits on their transfer activity of £15m and £120m respectively.  Serie A’s net spend was £60m and Ligue 1’s was £55m.  The English Premier League did not get the hardship memo, net spend there was £560m.

Below these leagues, transfer spend barely registers.  Even in England, that £560m net spend is down from the £905m spend in the summer of 2020, a period with empty stadiums, itself a drop on 2019.

It is what Deloitte terms the midmarket, transfers between £10m and £25m, that was most affected.  A year ago there were 33 deals in that space, this year there were only 20, remarkably, two of which put money in Celtic’s coffers.

The crisis at La Liga clubs was brewing well before it reached the Camp Nou this year.  Real Madrid and Barcelona brought viewers and commercial revenue to the league but that market is in drastic retreat.  The Spanish era is over.

Ligue 1’s TV deal collapsed last year, leaving many clubs on the brink.  PSG’s impressive transfer moves will shift some floating viewers from Spain to France, but that will hardly shift the dial for most clubs’ finances.

The Bundesliga was the only one of the five to see an increase in gross spend, which they more than offset by selling to the English Premier League – the last functional market in Europe.

There has never been a collapse in transfer spend across Europe like this.  Markets below the top tier depend on selling talent upwards; TV, sponsorship and gate money is not enough to pay the bills.

Football will find its level but I expect there will be bargains in January and next summer as the full consequences of where the industry is begin to hit home.  Generating the money we did for Ajer, Edouard, as well as Frimpong, could prove significant for years to come.

Of course, if your directors were briefing fans that you “Need to sell players”, but you were not able to do so, I don’t fancy your prospects.

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  1. JAMESGANG on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 12:26 PM


    STEPHBHOY67 on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 11:17 AM



    scottish football will not change casue those running it pass the same mistakes onto the next generation. There is a legacy issue past down the generations.





    Kids football still has dad’s that want teams to win over all else. In pro youth, coaches often place winning higher than anything else.





    The best kids play all the time the lesser kids stay on the side. Both get the wrong message, neither group see point in trying.





    Coaches still send kids round pitches in the name of fitness.





    We have kids playing on adult pitches aged 11 years old, crazy, it promotes to much space and time on the ball and encourages bad habits, it’s hard to physically hold the correct positions and to move with the shape. Also get less action and the Magic outball comes out I.e. long over the top to quick player.





    Discouraging use of skill cause you might lose the ball.







    Couldn’t agree more.



    I was dismayed when my son and his team went from playing playing 7 a side across a third of the pitch to full pitch 11 a side aged 11.




    Ridiculous on every level. But most especially for the keepers who had as much chance as Barkas of filling the adult goal.




    Ironic that Scotland, which boasts of gifting the world passing rather than pass n rush, now effectively forced their kids to do so just as they leave primary school.




    In terms of other posters comments on size, strength, etc – to reiterate, I don’t mean giants or grizzlies. Ronaldo and Larsson both showed what ideal looks like.




    HH jg

  2. TURKEYBHOY on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 12:39 PM


    BANKIEBHOY1 on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 11:50 AM





    In ither news……………







    Scotlands Finest are reporting that they have arrested 3 men on “Racist offences”with many more to follow.





    Not good enough for the Media,including SS,who refer to the arrests,as,”Sectarian offences”,even though their follow on editorial states “Racist offences”.




    Ridiculous on every level. But most especially for the keepers who had as much chance as Barkas of filling the adult goal.




  4. P67



    Fascinating read Paul.


    The ROI on Frimpong and Ajer was welcome and pretty impressive. The ROI on Eddie was too, given his form of the last 12 months, and should be seen as something of a relief.



    HH jg

  5. Seen on one of the Celtic Blogs yesterday,that there is a Croation,International,played with Juranovic,now a free agent.Will try and look back with more info.

  6. Could Steve Clarke, with his long experience in England, not speak out about our nonsensical ways of developing our youngsters playing football? After that first half performance last night, surely he must be wondering if there will ever be a generation again who play football the way Scotland gave it to the world?

  7. TB



    Sorry. Bitchy I know. But he’s the smallest 6’5’’ person ever!


    I think he was attacked by a rabid football as a child.



    HH jg

  8. It should be stressed that we have to produce our own players. UEFA insist on squads having 12 home nation academy developed players a minimum of 4 from our own academy. This makes it doubly important to develop our own academy further.



    There is noticably less “stars” which we could sell on for substantial sums remaining in our squad.



    Our academy is being raided by other Clubs like Leeds and the German clubs, We need to look at,Ireland as another market and there will be more like Liam Scales. I see we are linked with 18 year old Johnny Kenny of Sligo Rovers, We should be looking at a market where we have a clear advantage.



    We currently have quite a few in our First team squad Hazard, Ralston, Welsh, Montgomery, Murray, Johnston, McGregor, Henderson, McInroy, Forrest, Dembele and 1 more out on loan.



    Bain, Taylor, Turnball, McCarthy are all Scottish Academy players, We should have had more.

  9. Neil Lennon bears more responsibility than Leigh Griffiths for the loss of the Ten last year, though Leigh certainly has culpability over his own professionalism.



    But there is absolutely no moral equivalence, no “one’s as bad as the other”, to be tolerated in any mealy mouthed pairing of the two.



    Neil Lennon failed to land the Ten and let a lot of things slide last season. His failing is, purely, a football one.



    Leigh Griffiths, having wrecked his own football life, having been forgiven for his racist chanting about Rudi Skacel, having been supported through Mental health issues by the club and Neil Lennon, having been offered an assisting hand by Ange Postecoglou and an unwarranted contract extension, based on his promises to the club, still did not manage to make himself relevant in the Celtic team this season AND, much more importantly, compounded his crimes by chasing lassies on social media. I do not wish or need to bring in the under age element to the charge sheet, because that may have been an element of ignorance on Leigh’s behalf, but it was ignorance he could no longer afford to indulge, having been given so may second chances by friends, families, employers and managers.



    So, for me, there is only one of this pair that I am asking to be silent and reflect.



    Neil Lennon is more than entitled to get another chance and a career in football and I support him on that, even if he has not fully accepted his role in the loss of the 10, and yes there were mitigating (but not exculpatory) factors.



    Leigh Griffiths should shut up and focus on playing for Dundee and his future career plans when he finishes with football as it will not be long now.

  10. Can’t find the article from yesterday on the Croatian LB.Anyone else read it.It was about 3 bargains,now free agents.The Croat seems like a no Brainer.On one of the Celtic Blogs,possibly 67 Hail Hail,or Celtic Star.

  11. itscalledthemalvinas on

    Watching First Ministers Questions. The subject of the famine song being sung by the vermin. Nicola was saying that no matter if someone who has been in Scotland for years or recently arrived then as far as she was concerned they were home. Someone made a comment and Nicola was furious. Says she is wanting to take it up after the session with the speaker.

  12. Found him.Dario Melnjac.Part of the Croatia Squad.8 full caps.Played in Turkey but has now left for whatever reason.Free agent.Scored 7 goals in 73 games in Turkey.28 years old.


    Bargain,I would think.

  13. JAMESGANG on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 12:27 PM



    It’s a crazy set up, but it’s what happens when individual ego takes its place ahead of player development. I find mind competitive football at a young age, it’s how we measure the competitive football bit.



    We want our kids to be comfortable in tight space, to be able to make space for self and others, to have a good touch to keep close to their team mates and we do that by playing then on massive pitches where the exact opposite happens, I mean wtf do we expect.



    It is kinda like teaching a plumbers, sparky, doctor to do his/ her job in a way that does not reflect practice then spending 20 years wondering why they cant do the job expected of them.



    We also tend to remove our smaller players cause they cany cover the pitch are not strong enough, dont have the legs and try to make their less nimble, technical players lean how to do what the wee kids can do. 5 years later the wee kids are same size or similar but have not benefited from the years of training so fall away.



    It all makes sense in anothe universe.




  14. itscalledthemalvinas on 2nd September 2021 1:04 pm



    I saw that also, it was a Tory but I never heard what was said. I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.


    Hope it was that tosser Fraser or Mundell both have previous.

  15. JAMESGANG on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 12:27 PM



    In terms of other posters comments on size, strength, etc – to reiterate, I don’t mean giants or grizzlies. Ronaldo and Larsson both showed what ideal looks like.



    Thumbs up. Technique, speed and athleticism comes first





    Has ‘Nicola’ asked for a referendum yet?



    If not, why not?

  17. Embdae used a reliable provider of pre travel antigen tests recently? Boots very expensive…..

  18. Stephbhoy 67



    Bonkers, innit!



    We could also seek to mitigate some of the risk of brain injuries by restricting high balls and headers at younger ages. As per the USA.



    HH jg

  19. We all know just looking at a kid play with a ball if he’s good at football. He may be small, medium or large but you can see the potential oozing out of him, por cierto

  20. itscalledthemalvinas on



    It’s just a matter of time.


    I’m fair looking forward to watching those aprons come down the flagpoles across Scotland.

  21. A post on previous article about doctors take a oath to save lives.



    Pardon me if I don’t buy that shite.


    My wife has liver cancer and didn’t see her specialist for nearly a year and has seen him twice in 18 months.



    Also a aunt with brain cancer who had her chemo stopped during lockdown.



    She has started attending Maggie’s centre again at WGH in edinburgh where she helps out..



    Bless her.


    And my wife.

  22. I think the delay in a Referendum date is down to Covid.A point the FM made umpteen times during the Elections.


    But,of course,you knew that Ernie.

  23. The English Premier League continues to leave the others in its rear view mirror. I judge the strength of a league by the four European finalists. The EPL had three, La Liga one. Can’t see that changing anytime soon.



    We don’t need to be in the EPL, we just need to live next door. We are very fortunate that Brentford and Crystal Palace will fire almost £30m in our direction. What other league would do that ? My guess is that both Ajer and OE both probably instructed their respective agents to get them into any EPL side, just highlighting the financial muscle of our neighbours down the road.



    Don’t quite agree that the Spanish era is over. At Barcelona, yes, but not so the two Madrid sides. Real are currently spending vasts sums on the Bernabeu. Old loyalties to the Franco Works Team will ensure that Real are just fine. Barcelona allowed one player to be bigger than the club and at the same time did nothing to upgrade the dilapidated Nou Camp. Their’s is a long way back.



    Spot on JAMESGANG and TURKEYBHOY re boys club football. Hasn’t changed a bit since I graced the playing fields of South Ayrshire 40 odd years ago. Now a long standing resident in Lanarkshire, watched my youngest son playing in Blantyre last Saturday am. Football from the dark ages and coaches who take the game at that level just a tad too serious. Very, very depressing.

  24. ERNIE



    As she has clearly stated previously, the referendum can wait until after the pandemic.

  25. TURKEYBHOY on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 1:31 PM


    ‘I think the delay in a Referendum date is down to Covid.’








    I think it’s down to to the likely outcome.



    There isn’t going to be a referendum.



    We all know that, but some like to keep up the pretence. It’s what gets them up in the morning. Poor souls.

  26. Sean T my thoughts and prayers are with you Re your wife’s situation. Not easy.



    I know from my own family experience ( my wife had a bowel cancer operation last September ) how luck / lottery plays a part in getting any support in the hospitals right now. I hope your wife gets what she should be entitled to soon.



    If only the kind of focus was given to the other potential killer illnesses that seems to be given to this ever evolving bug then we might all be in a better place.




    As much as I am sure everyone sympathizes with your personal tragedies,I do,as I have relatives very similar.I also have 3 Cousins,1 an A&E Doctor,and 2 Theatre Nurses,who have been working round the clock for a year and a half,trying to save lives,as have all the NHS,Doctors and Nurses.There is a specialist waiting list of over 5 million.I think everyone’s anger should be directed at a Government,that neglects the NHS,and focuses on fighting wars,High Speed Rail links,Trident,to name but 3,and underfunded the NHS,and even offered them a 1% pay increase.


    You won’t find a Doctor or Nurse who do the job for the money.










    You’re in the minority now. Better get used to it.






    I’m used to being in a minority so far as politics is concerned. Always have been and always will be. But curiously not on the issue of independence. Which is why there is not going to be a referendum, just a lot of hot air and posturing to keep the eejits fired up.



    Meanwhile everything the Scottish government has responsibility for continues on its downward slide.

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