The majority of European clubs tend to own their stadium. These top clubs generate a disproportionately large share of revenues compared to the rest of the clubs around Europe. This is partially due to the professional way they manage their facilities. Their ability to utilise their stadia are exemplary for most of the clubs with an ambition to grow.
A comparison of how much matchday income the top European clubs generate highlights that privately-owned stadia mostly outperform publicly-owned ones. In part, this reflects the fact that the publicly-owned stadia are typically very old, whilst some of the privately-owned stadia have been built recently with great emphasis placed upon revenue generation.
Apart from the ownership structure (i.e. public vs. private ownership) of the stadium, our analysis of the matchday revenue generated reveals that much of the variance is explained by the varying international popularity of the clubs and their leagues, their success, as well as the size, age, design and facilities and services they offer.
The Revenue Per Event Per Available Seat (RevPEPAS) is a valuable ratio to measure the performance of a stadium during match days. This ratio analyses the matchday revenue generated from each available seat within a stadium from each game played during a season, however excluding non-football related events. As such, the ratio takes into account the matchday revenue generated by a club, the total number of home games played, as well as the respective stadium’s capacity.
According to research undertaken by KPMG’s Sport practice, based on available information, in 2013/14 season, over 50% of clubs participating in the ‘big five’ leagues generated a RevPEPAS of less than €15, with approximately 10% of clubs being able to achieve a RevPEPAS of more than €45.
In 2013/14, all Italian clubs, bar one, generated a RevPEPAS of less than €15. For instance, the RevPEPAS of FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan was €11 and €12 respectively, a similar figure to the likes of SC Bastia (Ligue 1) and Granada CF (La Liga). A combination of overcapacity compared to average demand in Milan is the reason of these poor results. The exception in Italy was Juventus FC who generated a RevPEPAS of €37, which represented a year-on-year increase of 9% and a RevPEPAS more than three times higher than the two Milanese clubs. Juventus FC’s success relies on a series of key factors including a strong on-pitch performance, a robust fan base that generates 28,000 season tickets per year, the ability to sell out often their 41,000-capacity stadium, but above all having a stadium with a capacity suitable to their fan base. The high demand has allowed the club to achieve higher ticket yields since their new stadium opened in September 2011.
Similar to the situation observed in Italy Serie A, based on available data, in 2013/14 around 90% of French clubs achieved a RevPEPAS of less than €15. However, several French clubs have the opportunity to improve this aspect of their business due to the renovation and redevelopment programme associated with the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2016 tournament. Benefits deriving from the renovation of French stadia are already evident with a 6% growth in French first division attendances in 2014/15 – the highest growth rate amongst the top divisions in the ‘big five’ territories. Olympique de Marseille, whose matchday performance was impacted by the reduced capacity of Stade Vélodrome for renovation works, have benefited from an increased capacity and the addition of c.6,000 VIP seats.
Analysis suggests the top Spanish clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid FC, achieved a RevPEPAS of over €40. With both clubs having plans to renovate their home venues, the clubs have the opportunity to improve their performance in this ratio in years to come, should their stadium plans come to fruition.
Whilst the highest RevPEPAS ratios for Juventus FC and the top Spanish clubs are around €40, English clubs remain the strongest European performers in this category with clubs such as Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, and Manchester United FC all achieving a RevPEPAS in excess of €60. From the clubs analysed, the spread of RevPEPAS is the broadest of the ‘big five’ leagues in England with some clubs, Sunderland AFC and West Bromwich Albion FC for instance, generating a RevPEPAS of less than €15.
Further investigation of matchday revenue, as well as other analysis of industry data, can be undertaken by KPMG’s Sports practice. The subject matter experts within the group can also assist stakeholders assess and interpret the potential impact on their organisations of the results from a particular piece of research, identify reasons why a specific trend is being observed, or ascertain potential solutions and future scenarios.
In general, matchday revenue is defined as the revenue that is generated by clubs as a result of staging matches at a club’s home stadium and largely derived from ticket sales, however excluding non-football related events.
The number of events taken into consideration for this analysis includes the home games played by each team in the respective national league, domestic cup(s), and competitions organised by UEFA, but excludes friendly matches.