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Volume 10 No. 22


Barcelona is "on course to become the world’s highest earning sports club," with record revenues of £804M ($1.06B) forecast for the financial year '17-18, according to Michael Kelleher of SKY SPORTS. Those revenues are boosted by the sale of Neymar to Paris St. Germain for a world-record transfer fee of £198M. Barcelona CEO Òscar Grau said, "We're presenting figures for this season which are the highest of any club in the world. No other teams -- not even in the NBA or the NFL -- reach these numbers. The club is on track to reach its target [of generating €1B ($1.2B) a year] by 2021." Barça announced revenues of £635M ($839M) for the '16-17 season (which ended on June 30) and projected a 27% increase for the current campaign. That would "mark a fifth consecutive season of record revenue" for the club (SKY SPORTS, 10/11).

Barcelona's profit forecast for '17-18 is €21M ($24.9M) after taxes. It will be the club's seventh straight year making a profit. Since '10, the sum of the club's annual profits totals €175M ($207.4M). The '16-17 season was the first time Barcelona surpassed the €700M ($830M) revenue barrier. Barcelona's €18.1M after-tax profit was slightly lower than the €21M in profit that was forecast due to an increase in corporate taxes paid (Barcelona). MARCA reported Barcelona's '17-18 budget forecasts more revenue than any other club in Europe. Below is a list of the highest '17-18 revenue projections in Europe: 

1. Barcelona:          €897M ($1.06B)
2. Real Madrid:      €690.3M ($818M)
3. ManU:                €655M ($776M)
4. Bayern Munich: €570M ($676M)
5. Man City:           €548M ($650M) (MARCA, 10/11).

SHAKEUP CONTINUES: In Barcelona, Fernando Polo reported following the recent departures of Albert Soler and Raúl Sanllehí, Grau will focus on player signings, trades and contracts, as well as the club's relationship with UEFA and the European Club Association. Barcelona hired Jordi Joly, who previously worked for the city of Barcelona, to "cover the areas that Grau can no longer oversee" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 10/11). Polo also reported Barcelona is hoping to reach a deal for a naming rights agreement for Camp Nou in early '18 (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 10/11).

The Australian Rugby Union's rejection of billionaire Andrew Forrest's A$50M offer to save the Western Force was a "backflip that came weeks after it told him such a figure would save the club," a Senate inquiry heard, according to Greg Roberts of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The revelations were made by the mining magnate's friend, former rugby professional and businessman John Welborn, at a Senate hearing into the "controversial axing of the Perth-based Force from Super Rugby." If Forrest provided the money, the ARU said that "its board and CEO would also resign," Welborn said. He and Forrest asked ARU Chair Cameron Clyne what they could do to save the Force and were given a list that was "supposed to be impossible to meet." Welborn, when asked when Forrest told the ARU he was willing to provide A$50M, said, "I think they were shocked when Andrew turned up willing to make ... the largest philanthropic sporting donation of all time." They were told it was "too late and RugbyWA should have got help earlier" (SMH, 10/11).

Australian Football League side Geelong Cats, one of the code's "powerhouse" clubs of the past decade, is "proof of just how tough it is becoming for AFL clubs to turn a profit," according to Greg Denham of THE AUSTRALIAN. Despite "playing deep into the finals and recording a record membership this year," Cats CEO Brian Cook forecast a break-even scenario. Working with A$54.6M in revenue in '16, Geelong made a net profit of A$2.3M despite a A$1M injection into its football department and an AFL equalization payment of A$390,000 "to a pool shared by the poorer clubs." But the predicted break-even result "comes after successive preliminary final appearances and an all-time high membership of 54,854, up from 50,571 the previous year." Geelong's fixture wish list for next year "includes a request" to play all 11 home games at its GMHBA Stadium. Cook said that playing two home games at Etihad Stadium this year cost the Cats A$1M ($780,000) in lost revenue (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/12).