Bundesliga, 2.Bundesliga clubs break €5bn revenue mark

Featured image credit: Bernd Dittrich on Unsplash

Clubs in Germany’s Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga exceeded the €5bn (£4.3bn/$5.4bn) revenue mark for the first time during the 2022-23 season, while an all-time high of 10.28 million tickets were sold during the first half of the 2023-24 campaign.

The DFL’s 2024 economic report shows that the top two divisions of German football generated €5.24bn in revenue during the 2022-23 season. This is 9% higher than the previous record of €4.8bn, which was set in 2018-19 – the last season unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DFL said the record figure is in line with clubs’ increasing recovery from the economic consequences of the pandemic and a return to profitability. Around two-thirds of the clubs and limited companies posted a profit in 2022-23.

In 2021-22, the total revenue of clubs in the top two divisions was €4.48bn, with matchday revenue standing at €402m. This marked the first time the total revenue figure had increased since the outbreak of the pandemic.

In 2022-23, some 19,755,465 tickets were sold by the 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga, surpassing the previous record of 19,049,362, which was posted in 2016-17. Bundesliga matches attracted an average attendance of 42,407.

The total revenue for the Bundesliga alone in 2022-23 was €4.45bn, representing a 23% year-on-year increase. The DFL said the rise can be attributed to the fact that all matches were played in front of fans, as well as an increase from central marketing, advertising and transfer revenue.

Bundesliga matchday revenue in 2022-23 was €536.5m, which represented 12% of the total revenue figure of €4.45bn.

A record figure of more than €1.6bn in taxes and duties were paid by the 36 clubs across the top two tiers in 2022-23. The Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga have contributed more than €12.6bn in taxes and duties over the past 10 years.

The report also shows that 55,001 people were employed by the two leagues in 2022-23. The pandemic saw this figure fall to around 26,000 during 2020-21, as matches were played at empty stadiums or in front of a limited number of fans. The DFL said the number is now back to pre-pandemic levels.

DFL co-chief executive Marc Lenz said: “With a personnel cost ratio below 50% and larger investments in youth academies, German clubs are sustainable and much healthier financially than other top European leagues.

“Sporting success and attractive leagues must remain achievable with economic efficiency – as the future, healthy standard in Europe. Therefore, in addition to strong central marketing, effective financial and ownership rules in the international and national scope remain crucial for our German model.”