The European Champions Report 2023


Welcome to the 7th edition of the European Champions Report, Football Benchmark’s annual publication focusing on the domestic champions of Europe’s eight most prominent leagues in the 2021/22 season, reviewing and comparing some of their most relevant business performance indicators to provide perspective on these clubs’ future prospects. We are proud, that the report premiers Paris Saint-Germain FC’s financials. This is also the first edition in this series published by our team as an independent entity, following the spin-off of KPMG’s Sports Centre of Excellence. 

Compared to last year’s edition, there are five new entries — AC Milan, FC Porto, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Real Madrid CF, and Trabzonspor Kulübü — while only three clubs from Europe’s eight top football leagues could retain their domestic title: AFC Ajax, FC Bayern München and Manchester City FC.

The 2021/22 season has seen a progressive recovery of football clubs on the revenue side. Indeed, with the exception of FC Porto, whose worsened international performance depressed their income, all champions surveyed have managed to increase their operating revenues compared to the previous year’s, showing positive signs of a return to normalcy after the pandemic. Moreover, six clubs managed to improve their staff-costs-to-revenue ratio, and there were four (as opposed to one the year prior) profit-making champions in the past year: Manchester City FC, FC Porto, FC Bayern München, and Real Madrid CF.

Key takeaways from the report: 

  • English champions Manchester City FC lead all clubs globally in total operating revenue generated for the second year running (EUR 731m), slightly outperforming UCL winners Real Madrid CF (EUR 714m).
  • The largest year-on-year percentage improvement in operating revenue was seen by AFC Ajax (+51%), mostly thanks to reaching the Round of 16 of the UCL.
  • The report also premiers Paris Saint-Germain FC’s financials. The club recorded the highest commercial income among all European clubs and registered the highest staff costs ever reported by a football club (EUR 728m). 
  • Manchester City FC lead the pack with club-record profits, with FC Porto on the next step of the podium. Real Madrid CF and FC Bayern München have also managed to register net profits – two clubs that have successfully recorded positive results in all pandemic-impacted seasons.