By Manuel Sánchez Gómez
London, May 27 (EFE).- Jürgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti rule on the pitch, as does the speed of Mohamed Salah and the frightening accuracy of Karim Benzema, the safe hands of Thibaut Courtois and the leadership of Virgil van Dijk but behind the scenes, in the bookkeeper’s offices, Liverpool are no match for Real Madrid.
The commercial value drummed up by the Spanish powerhouse surpasses Liverpool’s by 90 million euros (around $96.5 million), according to the Deloitte Money League.
Real Madrid have boosted their commercial income, which flows in from sponsorship deals and merchandising, by about 140% in the last decade, while Liverpool lags behind despite making the Uefa Champions League final three times in the last five years.
In the pandemic-blighted 2020/21 campaign, Florentino Pérez’s Real Madrid brought in 640 million euros, a 7% drop compared to the previous year. However, the club’s commercial income remained relatively stable despite Covid disruption, dropping from 360 million euros in 2019/20 to 332 million the following year.
The other decisive factor was TV revenue, which rose to 310 million euros with matchday takings of 8.6 million euros for games played behind closed doors.
In the case of Liverpool, which ranked seventh on Deloitte’s financial league table compared to Real Madrid’s second-place behind Manchester City, the 2020/21 season saw the Reds take in 550 million, of which 303 million came from TV rights.
The Premier League has the most lucrative broadcasting deals on the continent at 5.5 billion euros. Despite this, Liverpool’s takings were just shy of Real Madrid’s.
The main difference in revenue, though, can be pinpointed to commercial deals, where Real Madrid outscores Liverpool by 84 million thanks to an intake of 238 million euros last season.
Among Liverpool’s main sponsors are insurance company AXA, which has the naming rights to the club’s training ground, and the travel company Expedia, which pays 2.2 million pounds ($2.7 million) per season.
With the club’s 30 year deal with Carlsberg having come to an end, other current sponsors include EA Sports, Mauritius, Nivea and concert promoter Live Nation, to name just a few of the 24 companies in total.
The Reds have a margin for improvement when it comes to sponsorship deals and are in the market to find a new partner for their first team shirts, a space currently emblazoned with the logo of banking firm Standard Chartered at a cost of 46 million euros a year. Given the team’s success since that deal was struck in 2018, Liverpool could be set to double the value of that advertising space.
Such a deal would bring them closer, financially, to Real Madrid, whose economic success has a foundation in its long term deal with Adidas, a sponsor since 1998, and Fly Emirates, which pays 70 million a year for a space on the team’s shirt.
Real Madrid have 14 sponsorship deals with companies such as Coca Cola, Volkswagen and Nivea.
Recent deals with the firms Sixth Street and Legends to diversify the use of the new Santiago Bernabéu stadium by boosting its profile as an entertainment venue is set to bring in another 360 million euros for the Spanish giants.
Such a deal will put Real Madrid a cut above Liverpool while the English team continues to claw its way up the Money League table. One way the Reds can boost their stakes is to win the Champions League final on Saturday. EFE