In order to compete with the heavyweights of soccer in today’s game, an organization requires substantial financial backing and supporters prepared to shell out loads of money for rising ticket prices.
Some organizations build up their brand over time by playing attractive soccer and growing the support of the club through decades of success. This allows clubs to build their brand globally and enter into International markets. It also allows for unparalleled success, which in turn brings revenues to new heights.
But there is another way to reach such heights, and Manchester City designed the blueprint. Paris Saint-German and Monaco have followed in City’s footsteps and are ready to take on Europe.
Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited became the owner of Manchester City in September of 2009. Mansour is reportedly worth $17 billion individually and is part of a family fortune estimated at $1 trillion. That is superior financial backing in any industry.
Since Mansour has been running City, they have spent over €300 million in the transfer market alone. City is the epitome of nouveau riche, as their lavish spending has brought unprecedented success to the club and its first-ever English Premier League title.
In 2011, Qatar Investment Authority became the majority share holders of Paris-Saint German. Since 2011, PSG has invested €364 million in the transfer market, which is a world record.
In that time, PSG has become the richest club in France and one of the richest in the world, buying the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for €18 million, Thiago Silva for €36 million, Javier Pastore for €39.8 million, Ezequiel Lavezzi for €22 million and Lucas Moura for €35 million just to name a few.
These investments helped them capture the Ligue 1 title for the first time since 1994. They recently bought Edinson Cavani, a Uruguayan International, for €56 million from Napoli and Marquinhos, the 19-year-old Brazilian sensation from Roma, for €27 million to aid their Champions League ambitions.
In December of 2011, an investment group lead by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev took majority stake in Monaco Football Club, a club with a rich history. Having won several Ligue 1 titles in the past, they were recently promoted this past season back to France’s first division.
Monaco has wasted no time, having invested millions of euros into the squad. They look ready to challenge PSG immediately for the league title this season and look to influence European competitions for years to come.
Monaco made a huge splash in this summers transfer market, signing an abundance of world-class talent with the likes of Radamael Falcao €51 million, João Mountinho €25 million, James Rodriguez €45 million and Jeremy Toulalan €5 million, with veteran defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Eric Abidal coming on free transfers.
The success of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United over the last few decades proves that if you invest properly in your organization, you will reap exponential rewards. Soccer boasts the three richest sports organizations in the world. Forbes has Real Madrid at no. 1 being worth $3.3 billion, Manchester United no. 2 at $3.17 billion and Barcelona no. 3 at $2.7 billion.
Rounding out the top five are the New York Yankees of MLB at no. 4 being worth $2.3 billion, and the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL at no. 5 being worth $2.1 billion. They are all global brands, with spending power that guarantees them the kind of success their supporters expect every season.
Queens Park Rangers and their chairman, Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, provided evidence last season that you have to buy the right players. QPR spent an elaborate amount of money on players that were in the twilight of their careers in hopes of a successful Premier League season, but to no avail.
Subsequently, they were locked in a relegation battle the whole season, which eventually lead to them being relegated. It forced them to sell and loan off their prized assets this summer, rather than paying huge wages for players competing in England’s second division.
French soccer has come back to the forefront of the world’s game. They have started a nouveau riche French Revolution. Only time will tell if these projects will reap the benefits that their spending power have granted them. There is no doubt that both clubs have sparked a renewed interest in France’s first division. The top contenders in Europe are keeping their eyes on France this season with good reason.