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SBD Global/August 23, 2012/Finance

Investments From The Middle East Boost The Revenues Of European Football Clubs

Man City has spent an estimated $700M in transfer fees since a change of ownership in 2008.
Investment from the Middle East "has helped to boost the revenues of European football clubs to record levels this year," according to a Deloitte report cited by Rory Jones of THE NATIONAL. The 2012 Deloitte Football Money League report found that the "combined revenues of the world's 20 highest-revenue generating football clubs grew 3% in the '10-11 season to exceed $6B for the first time." Deloitte Sports Business Group Division Partner Dan Jones said, "It is no surprise that, as Middle East-based organisations look to further promote themselves on a global stage, we are increasingly seeing them choose football as a medium through which to achieve this." Deloitte said that "Manchester City had spent an estimated $700M in transfer fees since the change of ownership" in '08. In France's Ligue 1, Middle East investment also helped Paris Saint-Germain, which is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority. Deloitte said Man City's recent 10-year naming-rights deal with Etihad Airways of the club's stadium, "estimated to be worth up to $600M, would further assist the club in moving up the Money League in years to come" (THE NATIONAL, 8/23).

INVESTING IN TRANSFERS: The DUBAI CHRONICLE reported that the "most high profile area of investment by Middle East owners in recent years has been in the transfer market." There is also "significant ongoing investment in physical infrastructure and facilities in Manchester, and stadium development plans being discussed in Paris." Interest in European football has not been limited to club owners and sponsors. Broadcaster al-Jazeera has "recently increased its broadcast rights portfolio with the acquisition of further European football rights" (DUBAI CHRONICLE, 8/22). A WHARTON BUSINESS SCHOOL study revealed that "Abu Dhabi's royals aren't the first to buy into European soccer as a means to broaden their country's exposure to the world." Dubai-owned Emirates airline has a stadium and jersey sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC. Another Dubai firm, Royal Emirates Group, bought the Spanish La Liga club Getafe in '11 for $130M, while Qatari billionaire Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani bought another Spanish club, Malaga, for $52M (WHARTON BUSINESS SCHOOL, 8/21).
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Finance, Europe, Middle East

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