One more turbulent summer?
- Updated: May 23, 2014
Late last year Swiss based company TEAM Marketing announced that they would be selling the broadcast and sponsorship deals for the 2015-18 editions of the UEFA Champions League. The change of marketing will result in €1.34 billion being shared amongst the 32 teams who qualify for the 2015-16 group stage of Europe’s premier competition. The previous three year deal was only worth around €900 million.
The new deal is expected to help many of Europe’s elite clubs meet the requirements for UEFA’s Financial Fair Play, but while the new deal will bring some relief to Arab and Russian billionaires, alarm bells will already be ringing for those who are unlikely to qualify for the 2015-16 Champions League season.
Roma are returning to the Champions League this summer for the first time since the 2010/11 season and with potential earnings set to increase due to the aforementioned deal, the importance of staying in Europe has never been worth so much.
As much as Roma fans were looking forward to being back in the company of Europe’s elite, their star centre back, Mehdi Benatia, made comments earlier this week that almost immediately opened wounds, inflicted by last summer’s sales, which were seemingly just starting to heal. Before the Moroccan’s comments there was a general feeling amongst fans that Roma had no intention of replicating last summer’s clearance sale and that stability would be of utmost importance entering this summer. General Manager Mauro Baldissoni even stated that the club did not approach the window with the intention of selling the club’s best players and this put many fans’ minds, temporarily, at ease. The reality, however, is that Roma may need to sell some of their best players this summer in order to remain in a financial position which would enable them to build the new stadium, which is reportedly going to cost €300 million.
Qualifying for the 2015/16 Champions League season could reverse this trend though. The new broadcasting deal will mean each club who participates in the group stages is set to earn €25-35 million more than what clubs have received in previous Champions League campaigns. An extra €25 million will certainly not put Roma on a similar financial footing as Manchester City or PSG but it would definitely help to retain the club’s best talents.
Ultimately, Benatia’s words were probably a badly worded attempt to get a pay rise, but it is also likely that Roma will need to make one large sale to help partly fund this summer’s spending. Whether it be Benatia or Pjanic, we don’t know but the reality of our financial standing and the reality of modern football will dictate how we plan the upcoming transfer window.