Paris Saint-Germain have recorded the highest-ever wage bill for a professional football club at €728million (£645m) a year, according to Football Benchmark’s European Champions Report 2023.
Last summer, PSG signed players including Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi, which resulted in their wage expenditure increasing by 45 per cent. The reigning French champions also handed Kylian Mbappe an extended contract in the summer of 2022.
Their sky-rocketing costs have resulted in record net losses of €369m for the 2021-22 season in their latest financial figures.
In September, PSG were fined by UEFA after breaching financial fair play (FFP) regulations. They were ordered to pay an unconditional €10million — either directly or through revenue earned from involvement in UEFA club competition — with €55m depending on compliance with future targets over a three-year period.
Speaking to The Athletic, Antonio Di Cianni, head of football economics and strategy at Football Benchmark, said PSG may need to change their financial strategy.
He said: “The methodology was very simple in the sense that the vast majority of the information included in the Champions Report are coming from either the public financial statements from each club or in a couple of instances from the club themselves that we have contacted in advance and they have shared with us the key financials.
“For PSG, the numbers are staggering but in a way it was expected.
“Can this be sustainable? Well UEFA signed a settlement agreement with PSG in September so I think the fact they surpassed the €700million losses in the past three years made UEFA warn them with a settlement agreement and with some limitations that are a consequence of such a settlement agreement.
“So PSG must somehow come back to some more viable figures in the next three years to that federation of the agreement in place.
“But then every club is different because PSG clearly suffers from the low TV rights market of France, and suffered from a limited capacity last season at the Parc des Princes because they are usually one of the best in terms of matchday revenue.
“They want to build a new stadium but there is a big debate with the mayor of Paris and the president of PSG because he wants to either expand the current stadium or play somewhere else in Saint-Dennis (Stade de France), which is almost twice as bigger than Parc des Princes. PSG use their stadium in full capacity but now it’s difficult to get money out of it.
“So the third leverage where they really make the difference is commercial revenue thanks to their ties with the Arab world.
“Out of every club and every country, surely Manchester City and PSG can be comparable but City play in the Premier League, which is much more attractive in a capacity perspective of course.”
Real Madrid were a distant second on the wage bill list at €519million (£458m) after their salary costs rose 29 per cent due to bonuses paid for winning the Champions League.
City’s wage bill stood at €418million (£369m), up four per cent year on year.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Read the full article here