How cutting football club expenses by just 5% could help 118,137 vulnerable people in local communities

NetBet - Club vs Community

A new study reveals that 118,137 vulnerable people in local communities could receive crucial help, if the world’s 15 highest-earning football clubs reduced their expenditure by just 5% each.

Whether footballers are overpaid has been a point of contention for years, with many fans feeling that clubs have lost perspective on the value of money when it comes to player salaries and sponsorships. In fact, average pay in the Premier League is around €230,000 per month – a staggering 120 times more than the typical €1,916 EU monthly wage.

With these figures in mind, questions are raised as to whether high-value football clubs should be putting more money back into the community – particularly as many teams represent unity and possibility for local youths. Prominent players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are known for their charitable contributions, while Chelsea FC is considered the most charitable football club in the world based on donations to their primary charity. But there’s always scope to do more.

Many teams also hold high-profile partnerships with organisations like UNICEF and Mind, while others may not disclose the extent of their charitable donations, though do focus on rehabilitating local youths through football academies. But should they be doing more? New research shows that if Real Madrid – the highest-earning club according to the Deloitte Football Money League – cut their spend on player acquisition by just 5%, they could bring 2,321 children out of the risk of poverty, or help 1,431 unemployed adults find work.

This potential local impact is based on the cost of addressing two prevalent social issues in Spain – child poverty and unemployment. According to recent statistics, 2.6 million children are at risk of poverty in Spain because the average household income sits €8,640 below the OECD average, while 617,000 households have no income at all. Raising the income for all impoverished households with children and thereby eliminating the risk of poverty would cost €5,365 per capita – while Real Madrid spent €249 million on player transfers alone in 2019.

Although directly rectifying prevalent social issues may arguably be beyond the remit of football clubs, these figures can’t help but provoke discussion. Does Manchester United really need to spend €27 million on sponsorship and broadcasting each year, or Inter Milan €183,000 on PR and gifts? Instead of considering privatisation to fund stretched services like the NHS, should high-earning organisations – like Liverpool FC – give up 5% of their less critical expenditures to pay the salaries of nurses and social workers? You decide.

To find out more about the cost of tackling social issues, and how high-earning clubs can help reach this goal, take a look at the Club vs Community study.

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