if ever a sport reflected a certain disconnect with its audience it's surely football players wages continue to climb the big clubs remain cash cows and the competitive imbalances that have plagued the game for the past decade show little sign of leveling out in contrast most of professional footballs

client-base enjoy very modest lives when the global financial crisis broke in the last quarter of 2008 some experts undoubtedly contemplated the end of the period of growth less wage inflation and a lack of potential investors looking to boost the financial power of Europe's most prestigious clubs while it

didn't impact the gargantuan clubs too much over the medium term indeed it added to their number the financial crisis did make life more difficult for smaller clubs since 2008 we've seen the creation of an elite band a bulge bracket to use financial market terminology that is standing astride

domestic football Real Madrid Barcelona Bayern Munich Aventis Paris and German Manchester United and City Chelsea Liverpool Arsenal and Tottenham the post-crisis environment has created new Giants in the form of PSG in Manchester City and due to the soaring TV fees enjoyed by the Premier League a cluster of

English clubs have also joined the upper Xiang's in 2008 Manchester United generated 324 million euros in revenues and 9 years later with many corporates struggling to maintain profitability and importance their revenues were 676 million euros more than double just consider that us insurance giant AIG who we United's

shirt sponsor in 2008 have seen their revenues dropped by 40 percent in a comparable period the United States Manchester City have gone from 102 million euros in 2009 to 528 million in 2017 Deloitte at the time of the crisis commented that the unique nature of the football industry

will enable major clubs to be relatively resistant to the economic downturn most analysts felt that football's business models were unconventional and always labelled with debt like many businesses they relied on bank lending but when the bank's rolled into trouble access to credit became a problem football has always

had a certain bread and circuses value to it certainly politicians and businessman tried to avoid sending any club to the wall while many went into a business raishin very few were allowed to go bankrupt the fallout of a club failing could be catastrophic for individuals pushing a club

into extinction in Spain politicians both local and national do everything in their power to ensure that they are not connected to a club that may go bust Spain who in the eye of their own storm won the European Championship twice and the World Cup went to extraordinary lengths

to assist its illiquid clubs in the national team's golden period 20 clubs in the top division received 332 million euros in direct public aid and 476 million in indirect support the Valencia region for example pumped some 169 million euros into its four clubs Spain's economic woes may have

been frightening but their teams lifted the gloom nevertheless some of their clubs were in dire straits Valencia from Spain's third most important city became a symbol of excess spending and their new stadium was all but abandoned because they couldn't afford to complete the structure the country's big two

eventually rose from the crisis stronger and more defined than ever before Spanish football has since become the dominant force in European club football since 2008 oh nine La Liga clubs have won 13 out of 20 including nine of the last ten European prices and in money terms Real

Madrid and Barcelona are consistently at the top of any studies on football finance it should be recalled though that both clubs run high levels of debt over half a billion euros between them the Premier League however remains the most lucrative competition although the top bracket has become a

League within a league one club that certainly went through some angst during that period was West Ham United whose owner Yoga for Goodman s'en was chairman of the troubled icelandic bank Landsbanki at the height of the crisis the club was put up for sale and while the new

owner was sought no further money could be pumped into West Ham in 2011 the Hammers were relegated with Europe suffering more than other areas of the global economy new sponsors and owners from regions classed as emerging markets would help to provide fresh financial impetus rather like Roman Abramovich

had with Chelsea in 2003 in England Manchester City were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in August 2008 which elevated one of the country's most underachieving clubs and created the city football group an organization that represents the controversial multi Club ownership as with Abramovich at Chelsea City

were in a precarious financial position before being taken over in 2011 the Middle East also invested in Paris ng man in the form of Qatar sports investment creating a wealthy successful club in the French capital while Spain became stronger and France call its first international club for some

years Italy was going through mixed experiences serie wants the model envied by all other leagues continued its decline but Aventis developed into a club with a very modern outlook as the Milan duo fell away from their longtime position of the head of Italian and European football the event

has recovered from scandal to reinvent themselves they'd made the right decision in owning their own new stadium which allowed them to benefit from revenue streams that had previously been restricted Juventus have dominated Italian football over the past seven years and are currently the only Italian club that can

compete on a European scale for a long time Italian football was proud that its clubs were owned by local companies and families but as Italy's financial crisis deepened the seal was broken Thomas DiBenedetto a US private equity investor became the first foreign owner of a Serie A club

in 2011 when he bought Roma all over other parts of Europe there were signs of deep problems Greece one of Europe's most stressed countries and the symbol of the sovereign debt crisis saw attendances dropped from an average of 6,200 to 4,000 and witnessed the bankruptcy of I Catherine's

clubs could no longer be relied upon to pay their players in 2011 70% of Greek football is surveyed said they'd not been paid at some point other clubs such as Panathinaikos and Olympiacos have also had their financial problems ten years on though the so-called big five appear in

robust shape crowds in England France Germany and Italy are higher than they were in 2008 clubs out of necessity have created global franchises that have embraced new supporters and developed brands that are instantly recognizable across the continents this is a reflection of the shift in the global economy

but also of a determination to build dominant clubs that can extract maximum value from a more diverse audience in the past six years Europe has been the property of PSG in France by an in Germany Aventis in Italy rayul embosser in Spain and Chelsea and city in England

it's not particularly healthy but it does prove that the law of the jungle prevails in football in some ways football thanks to technology social media and the rise of a new generation of fans has become even more vital to the population than it was in 2008 the percentage

of disposable income that fans spend in support of their team has arguably increased over the past decade in many parts of the world the financial crisis continues to affect the daily lives of people so football which has been described as the most important of unimportant things remains the

great distraction but with many smaller clubs struggling for their existence the question remains about imbalances and whether at the highest level football could overheat and burst the bubble no industry is immune from excessive behavior that can threaten its long-term success and as the financial crisis told us no

longer can we take anything for granted at some stage this theory may be tested once more [Music]

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