The relationship between football and the cynical world of corporate finance looked unnatural since day one.
The combination of money and football is inherently contradictory, but I think that the biggest contradiction in this young “industry” named football is the measurement of clubs’ value.
Take my beloved Juventus for example, because they are a publicly traded company (Juventus Football Club S.p.A - MCI: IT: JUVE) which means we can easily compare the valuation methods.
According to Forbes, Juventus are valued at $591m. However, according to the stock market, The Old Lady from Turin is worth only $294.8m. This means that Leo Messi, who’s value stands at around €200m ($260.35 million dollars) is worth almost as much as the Juventus football club.
To make things even more complicated, a company named “Brand Finance” has Juventus’ brand valued at only $160m.
But wait a second, according to Transfermarkt.de the first team players at Juventus are worth €217m ( $282m) and the construction cost of Juve’s new stadium was €120m ( $156m). So just the players and the stadium are valued at 74% of Forbes valuation of the club.
By the way, Juventus’ biggest “assets” are the fans (like all clubs) – and there are about 17m of those around in Italy alone. Are they being calculated as assets at all?
Anyhow, it seems that putting a value on a club doesn’t make a lot of “business” sense.
Big money and “rational” business thinking are relatively new concepts in the world of football and whether we like it or not, the football industry will be definitely continue marching on this path.
This creates the need for consistency and consensus in the valuation methods of football clubs.
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