UEFA club audit calculates €4.9bn of fixed assets across Euro clubs

uefa flagBy Jake Gable
October 20 - Arsenal have topped a UEFA benchmarking report of tangible fixed assets with the governing body, valuing the club's long-term assets at over €500 million. UEFA carried out an audit of all 237 clubs competing in this season's Champions League and Europa League for its report in line with Financial Fair Play regulations.

Spanish side Valencia are ranked in the second band of teams in the €200 million+ tangible fixed assets category. They sit alongside usual suspects Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Tottenham. Also among the surprise clubs in that band are Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

The 237 clubs in total were estimated to hold €4.9 billion worth of long-term assets but over half of the clubs competing in Europe this season still play in municipally-owned stadiums. The benefits of stadium ownership are plainly spelt out in the report with those clubs who own their stadiums better prepared for the implications of FFP.

"Of the 23 participating clubs from 11 different countries with fixed assets of €50 million or more, nearly all own their stadium (20)," UEFA's report stated. Only 21% of the clubs assessed own their stadium with Arsenal's spectacular Emirates Stadium seeing them lead the way in this category.

"Long term investment diversifies the sources of club revenue," UEFA stated. "Clubs owning their own stadium generated 23% and 11% of their total revenue from gate receipts and commercial activities compared to just 14% and 7% for those clubs who rent/lease their stadium."

The 237 clubs assessed make up 57% of the €14.1 billion revenue total in all of Europe's top divisions. These clubs returned a total of €8.1 billion worth of revenue with net losses across the board reduced from €1.7 billion to €1.1 billion. 62% of clubs audited reported a rise in revenue with the average rise clocking in at 9.9%.

Sporting Braga, Standard Liege and Partizan top the percentages in terms of money pocketed from transfer streams. Whilst in terms of cash value, AC Milan, Udinese and Tottenham all banked over €30 million from transfers during the 2012 financial year.

The benchmarking report was compiled with data sourced from all 237 clubs in anticipation of a full report later in 2013. Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, is confident that clubs are finally being brought into line with regard to their fiscal responsibility.

"I am pleased to report that after some difficult years there are some encouraging signs that club owners are taking their responsibilities seriously with the first improvement in club profitability reported for many years as the final requirements of FFP enter into force," he said.

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