Financial gap widens as La Liga’s Supercup doubles Serie A earnings in Saudi deal. Spanish clubs’ higher valuation evident; questions arise for Italian counterparts.
- Double the Dollars: La Liga’s Supercup reaps a financial bonanza, raking in twice the revenue of its Serie A counterpart in the lucrative Saudi Arabian deal.
- Equal Formats, Unequal Payouts: Despite both tournaments employing a Final Four format and sharing a common Saudi sponsor, disparities in annual payments reveal stark contrasts in financial valuation.
- Club Worth on Display: The financial divide underscores the superior market value of Spanish giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona, prompting questions about the economic clout of Italian clubs in international football.
Supercup: Spanish Doubles Italian Earnings
There is a significant difference in revenue between the Spanish and Italian Supercups, with La Liga earning essentially double the amount compared to Serie A.
Sela Sport, a Saudi marketing company owned by PIF, the country’s sovereign fund, has been a driver for both deals which used the same format: a Final Four featuring the top two teams in the league and the finalists of the national cup.
The duration of the contracts shows the first difference: four editions in six years for the Italian Supercup and a direct agreement for six editions for the Spanish Supercup.
The sole principle behind both federations deciding to move their competitions to Saudi Arabia was to maximize revenue.
This led Serie A to adopt the Final Four format after having it played in Riyadh as a single match in the previous season (2022/23) when Inter triumphed over Milan.
The main variable that was significantly different, given the same scenario, was the price.
This is evidently a crucial factor as the primary purpose of the journey to the Arabian Peninsula is the final revenue.
The Saudis, with their investments elevating them among the masters of world football, valued the Spanish Final Four almost double that of the Italian one: 40 million euros annually against 23 million per season.
In detail, the Italian Supercup allowed Serie A to earn a total prize of around 23 million euros.
- 16.2 million go to the clubs, divided as follows (a significant increase considering that for the edition played in January 2023, the prize pool was approximately 7.5 million overall):
- 1.6 million each to the two defeated semifinalists;
- 5 million to the defeated finalist;
- 8 million to the winner.
Conversely, Saudi Arabia recognized the Spanish football federation a total of 40 million euros to host the competition each year.
For this edition, looking at the prize pool:
- Real Madrid as the winner received a total of 5.1 million euros (of which 2.8 million for participation alone), plus 300,000 euros for travel expenses, the same amount for other participants. The prize for the final victory is set at 2 million.
- Barcelona, on the other hand, took home 4.1 million euros each,
- while Atletico earned 2 million, and Osasuna 1 million.
The reason is that the Spaniards can effectively guarantee that Real Madrid and Barcelona are always in the competition. Italians cannot do the same with Juventus, Milan, and Inter.
On top of this obvious consideration we can add a couple more.
The first concerns the international popularity of various clubs, referring to online traffic generated by different teams.
And this is something we can immediately see comparing the two countries directly involved, not only the bigger markets (like US, China, the Gulf and so on…).
In Italy: Real Madrid is the sixth most-clicked club, after the top 5 Italian teams, and Barcelona is eighth. The two Spanish giants generate more interest than Fiorentina and Torino, for example.
In Spain, however, Italian clubs have fewer followers: Juventus is ranked 21st, Milan 22nd, and Inter 24th. This is in a more internationally oriented country: in Italy, 8 of the 20 most-followed clubs are foreign, in Spain, 11/20, including Al Nassr (20) and Inter Miami (16), which already surpass our clubs.
In short, the Spanish Supercup is worth more because the Spanish clubs participating in it, whether we like it or not, are worth more.
The second, as a consequence, is that Saudis care little about “the movement” (variability in competition).
In fact, the less movement there is, the more they pay you.
So when you hear Italian managers that Serie A football is beautiful because the same teams don’t always win, always consider that this is for sure something positive for the fans, perfect if you play your Supercup at home and you have to attract local fans into staduims, but this is generally less attractive for sponsors, whom Serie A want to attract by playing abroad.