Thomas Peeters, Associate Professor of Sports Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, was interviewed by Sporza (16 January 2023), to shed his light on the financial position of Belgian football clubs.
Club Brugge and Royal Antwerp FC
Peeters notes that Club Brugge’s financial position is by far the best of the whole Belgium football league. Mainly due to their successful Champions League campaign. Royal Antwerp is a club to keep in sight when it comes to Peeters. Their revenues have been steadily increasing over the past years.
The Associate Professor states that the financial position of the different clubs differs. Standard Luik appears to be the worst off, with a debt of 50 million euros and negative equity. Peeters assesses this as especially concerning given the low revenue of Standard Luik. Mainly driven by the relatively unmodern stadion of Standard Luik. However, Peeters does note that the commercial value of the club is still big. Standard Luik has a lot of fans and plays for a big city.
KV Mechelen is different from Standard Luik, in the sense that KV Mechelen is a mid-tier team. However, the Associate Professor notices that their financial position is very good. Mainly due to their stadium which is full every home-game. Peeters assesses that this is a general trend. It is doable in the Belgium football league to be a mid-tier team and have sustainable finances.
Control over finances
Peeters ends the podcast with a final piece of advice: “In order to keep your finances under control, you have to keep your labour costs under control.” However, this is easier said than done. Especially given the pressure fans put on clubs to squeeze out every penny for the sake of football success.