T10 – Irish Domestic Soccer Compared to Europe

Sport for Business T10 is a new weekly feature where we will look at Ten Key things you will benefit from knowing in an area of the business of sport either here at home or on a global basis.

Today we look at how the SSE Airtricity League fared in a belt and braces report from UEFA on the rude health of club football across Europe.

Euro Dividend

The SSE Airtricity Premier League Clubs that played in the 2016 season earned revenues of €19 Million, an increase of 73 percent on the previous campaign.  One swallow does not a summer make however and the bulk of that increase came from Dundalk’s adventure through the Europa League.

Euro Support

As part of the same benefit, the proportion of income derived from UEFA as opposed to other sources rose from 15 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2016.

Benchmarked on Wages

The absolute figures may be substantially less here but the same level of income going out in wages was recorded in Ireland as was the average across all 54 European leagues, 70 percent.

Accelerating Growth

The 700 top-division clubs together are generating year-on-year revenue growth of almost 10%. You need to go back to 2002 to find a faster rate of growth in European club revenues.

TV Income

The wide disparity in TV revenues continues to be the main differentiating factor between leagues, with TV deals in the ‘big 6’ leagues generating 11 times the revenue of those in the other 48.  Ireland was one of 14 countries not to record an income of any note from domestic broadcast revenue.

Fighting Back

Ireland’s ranking among Euro leagues has climbed back to 38th having dipped to a low of 43rd in 2014.  Our high point over the past 10 years was coming 29th in 2010.

Virtual Reality Contact

Irish clubs generated average income of €1.5 million in the year under review, placing us 33rd in Europe.  Premier League Clubs in England scored a massive average of €244 Million while Northern Ireland came in at €700,000.


The value of sponsorship increased an average across Europe of 8 percent in the year.  This is the same increase as was seen in domestic broadcast rights fees.

Fan Spend

Arsenal brought in a staggering €97.80 in match day revenue from the average fan attending their games.

Revenue Splits

SSE Airtricity Clubs generated 21 percent of their revenue from gate receipts, higher than any of the Top 10 Leagues and 32 percent from sponsorship and other commercial activities.

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