European football’s huge wage bills and financial losses

Football and finance

European football's huge wage bills and financial losses Credit: Дмитрий Садовников Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

As the transfer period comes into full swing, footballing giants around Europe will be splashing the cash. But one Reddit user has conducted an in-depth study into the footballing elite’s big spending and also some big losses. 

Paris Saint Germain (PSG) top the list that was compiled from financial figures from the 21/22 season, as they splashed out big money on Lionel Messi. The collated figures deal with wage bill spending versus profit/loss.

The information posted on Reddit was a major undertaking by somebody going under the moniker Ook_1233, with calculations made for 119 top-flight European clubs.

The full figures for top European teams can be seen in this Reddit post by Ook_1233. Here we only show the top 20 teams in terms of wage bill spending.

Top 20 European clubs wage bills and losses
Credit: Reddit/Ook_1223

It was PSG who paid out the most in wages, just to have the living legend Lionel Messi on their books but they took a huge financial hit of – €368.7 million. It is also noteworthy that nine of the 20 biggest spenders in Europe are Premier League teams.

While Manchester United top the Premier League wage bill spending with €482.4 million over the season, they too are making a loss. Whereas, the fifth and sixth biggest spenders in Europe – Liverpool and Manchester City – were seen to make a profit in the same season.

Manchester City, who made almost €50 million in profit, are still undergoing investigation into alleged breaches of Premier League spending rules.

With top-flight teams often having hugely wealthy financial backers, the losses often made don’t always mean a lot, with the kudos of winning coming in as top priority.

But massive spending doesn’t always guarantee this, although it does set big teams aside from there poorer rivals in terms of squad strength and depth.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.