Real Madrid is evidently in pursuit of such high profile players as Kylian Mbappe and Sadio Mane. Both those players are young and good...and valuable. Any world-class club would like to build around them. So why would PSG and Liverpool let them go?

Deloitte's 2019 Football Money League shows that Real has annual revenues of €750M; while PSG is at €540M and Liverpool is at €510M. Real is richer, but not by much. Let us say that Mbappe transfers for €300 and Sane for €100. If we amortized the transfer fees over 2 years; then Real's annual income is down to €550M, a year; no real advantage over PSG or Liverpool. So, even if Real doesn't pay to transfer in another big name for 2 more years, the high cost of the transfer fee means they shouldn't be able to offer a more lucrative contract to the players in question than other world-class teams with high revenues.

In general, I don't understand how any of the top tier teams are able to afford to transfer player from the other top tier teams. In some cases, like Ronaldo going to Juventus, it seems that it was the player's idea to make the move. But absent player unhappiness, if Sane is happy in Liverpool, then why can't Liverpool pay enough to keep him?

How does Real Madrid, in particular, have the financial muscle to buy whoever they want, even from other teams with top-10 revenues?

2 Answers 2


Basically you're making the mistake a lot of people make.

  1. Revenue is not their account balance
    The numbers show what they've made throughout the year, but having a positive revenue for years adds up for much more than that. See Bayern Munich for example. They have a lot more money than shown on that chart, since they don't invest it in top tier super stars (or at least they only rarely pay those enormous transfer fees).

  2. Players don't just come, they also go
    If someone like Mbappe joins Real there will we consequences on their end too. Some media speculate about Bale leaving Real for example. Or C. Ronaldos transfer last year. Actions like these will free up some money as well.

  3. Merchandising and Sponsoring
    Whenever a top star joins them the merchandising sales skyrocket. They will not pay for the player in full, but they cover a pretty good share of the expenses. Also the sponsors love big news like that and eventually pay more, because they also get a piece of the cake when they're able to advertise with the new guy(s).


You have mentioned that Real Madrid has an annual revenue of €750M, but that is not the profit. Its their earnings. The club does have a lot of expenses right from salaries to the players and organizing scouts and their academy and so on. The net profit of Real Madrid in the last three seasons is around 100m - 200m as they weren't spending any money in transfers and selling players like Ronaldo, Morata for good amount. The situation for other clubs is different.Apart from Barcelona and Bayern, other clubs were already spending whatever the money they have on players slaries and transfers.Manchester City and PSG are under the scrutiny of CAS and UEFA for manipulating their revenues and going against FFP regulations. AC Milan, Roma, Inter had to sell players to follow FFP and PSG and Manchester City soon might have to.

And coming to Liverpool and Mane situation, if Liverpool rises the salary of Mane, it would result in a chain reaction from other players requesting the salary hikes. And Real Madrid are no exception to this. They had the opportunity to sign Pogba and Mbappe. But their salary demands were huge and with a dressing room full of stalwarts, Real simply declined.

Real Madrid net transfer expenses in last three seasons was in profits. So they have the cushion of spending huge money.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.