Spanish soccer club Atlético Madrid have recorded a historic record high revenue for the 2021/22 campaign with income of €416.2 million, but remain at a loss for the season at €25.1 million.
Such revenue figures represent a 19% increase on the previous campaign, leading the club to new heights in terms of financial performance.
The club’s record income helped to reduce losses, which were down by €85.9 million from €111 million the previous season. That is despite salary costs remaining stable at €271 million and a staff to revenue cost ratio of 65%.
Revenue driven by the stadium
“The main driver of the growth was stadium revenues, which rose from €4.4 million to €60.4 million,” Antonio Di Cianni, Head of Football Economics & Strategy at Football Benchmark told Spanish newspaper Expansión.
That should come as no surprise given that Atlético, like all LaLiga clubs, played almost the entire 2020/21 season behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions, with fans allowed to return to arenas for the 2021/22 campaign.
Another important source of increased income was from commercial revenues, which rose by 10% year-on-year to €117.1 million. That figure is expected to increase in the 2022/23 season given new sponsorship agreements with estate agency Cívitas for stadium naming rights and FinTech firm Whalefin as the club’s main sponsor.
Elsewhere, television rights remained stable and continued to account for over half of all income, now occupying 57% of the total figure, with €238.7 million received across all domestic and continental competition, including LaLiga and the UEFA Champions League.
Influence of transfer business
Atlético’s net spend for the 2021/22 season on transfer business was €58 million, led in large part by significant outlays for the signings of Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese for €35 million and Matheus Cunha from Hertha Berlin for €30 million. Other fees included €3 million each on Reinildo Mandava from LOSC Lille and Daniel Wass from Valencia.
In addition, the first payment for Antoine Griezmann was made with a €10 million loan fee being paid to Barcelona, with the complete fee to make the deal permanent falling into the accounts for the 2022/23 season.
Money was recouped with the sale of Kieran Trippier to Newcastle for €14 million, but other income from sales was limited, with Saúl Ñíguez’s loan fee to Chelsea bringing in €5 million, Nicolás Ibáñez’s move to Pachuca earning €3 million and Javi Montero’s sale to Beşiktaş seeing €750,000 arrive at Atlético.
Unlike the previous season, when Thomas Partey left for Arsenal for €50 million, there was no significant sale and fans were right to question whether Trippier’s fee for his exit to Newcastle was undervalued. At the time, Transfermarkt valued the then 31-year-old at €18 million, suggesting that the fee was not too wide of the mark.
It does explain why Atlético must sell this season. Reduced income in 2022/23 after elimination from the Champions League at the group stage means that other revenue sources must be found, and 2021/22 saw the club’s lowest income from transfer fee since 2012/13.
In 2022/23, loan fees for João Félix and Renan Lodi, in addition to small transfer fees for Felipe Monteiro and Daniel Wass, mean that Atlético have already surpassed the income from transfers of last season, with Matheus Cunha’s loan to Wolves also brining in the highest income from a single sale since Partey in 2021. Even so, more outgoings are expected this summer.
Still behind their rivals
Atlético now boast the third-highest revenue of any soccer club in Spain, but remain some distance behind their two leading rivals in LaLiga. Their city rivals Real Madrid recorded €298.3 million more revenue at €714.5 million, while Barcelona were not far behind on €636.4 million.
Real Madrid’s figures increased by 12% year-on-year and were also led by increased stadium revenues with a €91 million improvement. However, a 29% increase in staff costs to €519 million, almost double Atlético’s figure, meant that revenue increases had less of an impact on the bottom line.
Despite that, Real Madrid were one of few clubs to record a profit in the 2021/22 campaign as their revenues surpassed costs by €13 million.