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Aug 27, 2018 17 tweets 15 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
A long-suffering Newcastle United fan asked how their financial performance compared with Tottenham Hotspur since Mike Ashley bought the club in July 2007, so here’s a few thoughts in the following thread #NUFC #THFC
Both #NUFC and #THFC have focused on profit. #NUFC have essentially broken even during Ashley’s tenure with £4m aggregate profit, while #THFC have reported an impressive £215m. Worth noting that £188m of that came in last 4 seasons, when #NUFC had a £47m loss in Championship.
#NUFC revenue has fallen by £1m since Ashley’s arrival from £87m to £86m, deflated by the lower money in the Championship. In the same period, #THFC revenue has tripled, rising £203m from £103m to £306m. In fairness, #NUFC 2018 revenue will be much higher (£175-180m estimate).
In Ashley’s first season #NUFC earned £1m more from broadcasting (£41m) than #THFC £40m, but in 2017 #THFC were £141m higher, largely due to #NUFC relegation to the Championship. That said, difference was still £38m in #THFC favour in 2016 when both clubs were in the top flight.
In the last 11 seasons #NUFC received a hefty £627m from central Premier League distributions, but this is £231m less than the £858m #THFC received. The two relegations to the Championship during Ashley’s reign have really hit revenue. accounting for £142m of the difference.
In the 11 seasons before Ashley arrived #NUFC qualified 8 times for Europe, including twice for the Champions League group stage, but have only qualified for the Europa League once since, so they have only earned a paltry €5m. In the same period #THFC have earned €179m.
#NUFC match day income has dropped £10m from £34m to £23m in the Ashley era (partly due to 10% ticket price reduction in Championship). Over the same period #THFC income has grown by £10m from £35m to £45m, partly due to lucrative Champions League matches.
#NUFC attendance held up very well in the Championship with crowds of over 51,000, nearly 20,000 more than the closest challenger #AVFC 32,000. #THFC attendances have been restricted by White Hart Lane’s capacity, as seen by the 68,000 in their temporary Wembley home in 17/18.
#NUFC commercial income almost halved from £28m pre-Ashley to £15m in 2017. Partly due to outsourcing catering in 2009, though other revenue streams are basically flat, put off by the Sports Direct brand. In same period #THFC have more than doubled commercials from £34m to £73m.
#NUFC enjoyed the 5th highest wage bill in England before Ashley’s arrival in 2007, but since then this has risen by just £20m (34%) from £60m to £80m in 2017 (excluding one-offs). In contrast #THFC have almost tripled wages from £44m to £127m (up from £100m in previous 3 years).
Based on the clubs’ cash flow statements #NUFC have outspent #THFC on a net basis: £129m to £98m. However, this is due to Spurs’ player sales (e.g. Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for £90m). On a gross basis #THFC have spent £210m more than #NUFC: £541m vs. £331m.
However, cash flow can be a bit misleading, as most transfers involve stage payments, so using Transfermarkt the figures are a little different, showing that on a net basis #THFC have spent twice as much on players as #NUFC: £138m vs. £63m.
One criticism leveled at Ashley is that he has not invested in #NUFC infrastructure (stadium & training ground), which is borne out by the feeble capital expenditure – only £10m in 10 years. #THFC are the complete opposite, splashing out almost half a billion in the same period.
Ashley is fond of mentioning the £144m loan he has put into #NUFC, which is true, though omits the £77m of debt that he inherited. Including 2017 £8m bank overdraft the net increase is £76m. #THFC debt has surged from £31m to £185m, very largely due to loans for new stadium.
In fairness to Ashley his loan is interest-free, leading to a £5m reduction in #NUFC annual interest payments, while #THFC is up to £6m in 2017 and will further increase as more loans are taken out to fund the new stadium build.
Most fans are more interested in how the teams fare on the pitch and this is where Newcastle have suffered. Only 1 place separated the clubs in Ashley’s first season (#THFC 11th vs. #NUFC 12th). While Spurs are now regularly in top 4, #NUFC have only once been better than 10th.
So there it is “in black and white”: #THFC have done well financially and improved on the pitch, while #NUFC have thrown away the advantages they had when Ashley arrived in 2007. No regular qualification for Europe plus 2 relegations to the Championship have really hurt the club.

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More from @SwissRamble

Oct 4, 2018
#RealMadrid 2017/18 accounts cover a season when they finished third in La Liga, but won the Champions League for a third consecutive year, the fourth time in 5 years, plus the Club World Cup and European and Spanish Super Cups. Some thoughts in the following thread.
#RealMadrid profit before tax increased by €17m from €26m to €43m (profit after tax up €10m from €21m to €31m). Revenue (Madrid’s definition) rose 11% (€76m), their largest rise since 2000, to a record high of €751m, while profit on player sales was 4% (€2m) up at €54m.
All #RealMadrid revenue streams increased with the largest growth in marketing €41m (16%) to €295m, followed by international & friendly matches €13m (17%) to €100m, broadcasting €13m (8%) to €178m and membership fees & stadium revenue €8m (5%) to €174m.
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Sep 25, 2018
Manchester United are the second Premier League club after #MCFC to publish 2017/18 financial results, covering a season when they were runners-up in the league and FA Cup, but were eliminated by Sevilla in the Champions League last 16. Some thoughts in the following thread #MUFC
#MUFC profit before tax down from £57m to £26m, mainly due to higher player costs, as wage bill shot up £32m and player amortisation rose £14m, while revenue only up £9m. Tax bill increased from £17m to £63m as a change in US corporate tax rate led to a £49m non-cash write-off.
#MUFC revenue only grew £9m (2%). Only meaningful increase was broadcasting, up £10m (5%) to £204m. Commercial income was basically flat at £276m, while match day dropped £2m (2%) to £110m. Profit on player sales rose £7m to £18m.
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Sep 17, 2018
Ten years after Sheikh Mansour acquired the club, Manchester City’s 2017/18 financial results covered a season when they won the Premier League in some style, won the League Cup and reached the Champions League quarter-finals. Some thoughts in the following thread #MCFC
#MCFC profit before tax up from £0.1m (£1.1m after tax) to £10.4m, as previous season was adversely impacted by change in year-end resulting in an extra month’s costs with minimal revenue uplift. Revenue rose £27m (6%) to £500.5m, only second English club above £0.5 bln.
All #MCFC revenue streams up: commercial income rose £14m (7%) to £232m; broadcasting increased £8m (4%) to £212m; and match day was £5m (9%) higher at £57m. Profit on player sales was up £4m to £39m.
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Sep 10, 2018
Prize money for UEFA club competitions significantly increases in 2018/19, including a new coefficient ranking payment that better rewards historically successful clubs rather than those with larger national TV rights deals. Some thoughts follow on Champions League distribution.
The amount distributed to clubs in UEFA Champions League (group stage onwards) will rise €681m (54%) from €1.269 bln to €1.950 bln in 2018/19. This is split: participation €488m (25%), performance €585m (30%), TV pool €292m (15%) and coefficient rankings €585m (30%).
In 2018/19 each of the 32 clubs qualifying for Champions League group stage gets €15.25m plus €2.7m for a win and €900k for a draw. Additional prize money for each further stage reached: last 16 €9.5m, quarter-final €10.5m, semi-final €12m, final €15m and winners €19m.
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Sep 4, 2018
Atletico Madrid’s 2016/17 accounts cover a season when they finished third in La Liga and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League under coach Diego Simeone. Some thoughts on their finances in the following thread #Atleti #AúpaAtleti #AtleticoMadrid
#Atleti profit before tax improved from €1m to €5m (profit after tax up from €4m to €5m), as revenue rose €48m (21%) to a record high of €281m, though profit on player sales fell €7m to €37m. No repeat of the 15/16 €27m extraordinary charge linked to stadium development.
The main driver of the #Atleti revenue increase was the La Liga TV deal, up €31m to €99m, though Champions League TV money was €9m lower at €61m. Commercial rose €22m (41%) to €76m, while match day was €4m (11%) higher at €45m.
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Aug 23, 2018
As talk intensifies of a potential move of Arsenal’s chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, to Milan, I thought it would be interesting to look at how the club’s financials have developed since he arrived in January 2009. Some thoughts in the following thread #AFC #Milan #ACMilan
#AFC revenue has grown by an impressive £198m under Gazidis, only outpaced by #MCFC £366m & #MUFC £303m in absolute terms. However, this was the 2nd smallest % growth of Big 6. Furthermore, 2017/18 revenue is likely to be £40-50m lower, due to not qualifying for Champions League.
Analysing #AFC £198m revenue growth under Gazidis, most (£125m) is from TV, due to central Premier League deals. As Warren Buffett said, “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Commercial up £69m, but this was a slam dunk after long-term sponsorships linked to stadium funding expired.
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