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Topic-icon French teams dominate top 15 ranking of European rugby clubs

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11 years 8 months ago #446

French teams dominate top 15 ranking of European rugby clubs 


French and English clubs dominate the top 15 in terms of revenue generation, Toulouse and Clermont Auvergne make it a French one-two;
Leicester Tigers generate the 3rd highest revenues in European club rugby, and are the biggest in terms of average attendance.
French rugby club Toulouse tops the list of Europe’s 15 biggest rugby union clubs, based on revenue, according to analysis published for the first time by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

The 2011 French champions generated £27.4m (€33.5m) in revenue during the 2009/10 season, followed by Clermont Auvergne (£19.5m (€23.8m)) and Leicester Tigers (£18.5m (€22.6m)) in third. By contrast, Leicester Tigers take top spot in the ranking by average attendance during the 2010/11 season, pushing its French rivals into second and third places.

Overall, the top 15 positions by revenue are dominated by French (11) and English clubs (four). The three other English clubs to be ranked in the top 15 by revenue are: Northampton Saints (11th: £12m), Harlequins (14th: £10.6m) and Gloucester (15th: £9.4m).

French and English clubs also dominate the top positions when ranked by highest average attendance, with eight and five clubs ranked in the top 15 places, respectively. However, whilst financial information on Irish clubs is not available, the strength of Munster (4th) and Leinster (6th) is evident by their high ranking by average match attendance.

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, comments: “The dominance of the French clubs in generating revenue is largely due to greater commercial income, primarily as a result of more lucrative sponsorship deals as opposed to bigger match attendance figures. Increasing revenue generation is critical for top clubs in a fiercely competitive pan-European, and indeed global, market for playing talent.”

In recent years, many of the top ranking clubs, by revenue and attendance, have been successful in attracting a greater number of occasional attendees by taking matches to larger venues, for example, Saracens to Wembley, Harlequins and London Wasps to Twickenham, Stade Français to Stade de France, Toulouse to the city’s Stade Municipal, and Toulon to the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. Continuing to grow and engage this wider supporter base is the key to reaping further matchday and commercial revenue benefits.

Jones says: “Investment in the development of a club’s stadium facilities and community programmes can yield opportunities to drive matchday and commercial revenue by attracting and retaining these occasional attendees as regular home match goers.

“However, the ongoing challenge for all clubs is managing their cost base relative to revenue – a common issue for clubs within other sports. The growth of clubs’ costs throughout the professional era has matched or outstripped the impressive revenue growth and, whilst there is a welcome degree of regulatory control on the largest cost item (player salaries) through the salary cap in England and France, the vast majority of clubs are delivering operating losses year-on-year.”

In 2009/10, the combined Premiership club operating losses totalled £19.6m (€23.9m). Only Leicester and Northampton, the two highest revenue generating English clubs, delivered profits, highlighting the disparity between a club’s revenue generation and its profitability. In France, cost inflation from the pressure to succeed on the pitch has led to financial problems at a number of clubs recently, including Stade Français and Bourgoin.

Jones comments: “Managing a club’s cost base within its level of revenue generation is fundamental to the long-term health, sustainability and maturity of the club game. This is the toughest management challenge for any sports club.”


Notes to Editors:
The European Rugby Union Top 15 - 2009/10 revenue

Position Club 2009/10 Revenue (£m) 2009/10 Revenue (€m)
1 Toulouse 27.4 33.5
2 Clermont Auvergne 19.5 23.8
3 Leicester Tigers 18.5 22.6
4 Stade Français 18.0 22.0
5 Racing Métro 92 17.2 21.0
6 Toulon 16.4 20.0
7 Brive 16.0 19.5
8 Montpellier 14.8 18.1
9 Biarritz Olympique 14.5 17.7
10 Perpignan 12.9 15.7
11 Northampton Saints 12.0 14.7
12 Bayonne 12.0 14.6
13 Castres Olympique 11.8 14.5
14 Harlequins 10.6 12.9
15 Gloucester 9.4 11.4


French club figures converted to £ using exchange rate as at 30 June 2010 (£1 = €1.2214)
Figures for Irish provinces and Scottish clubs not available
Highest placed Welsh region is Cardiff Blues with revenues of £8.8m
Source: DNACG, Companies House, Deloitte analysis

Position Club 2010/11 Average Attendance
1 Leicester Tigers 21,096
2 Toulouse 18,239
3 Clermont Auvergne 15,810
4 Munster 15,430
5 Bayonne 14,588
6 Leinster 13,707
7 Toulon 13,460
8 Northampton Saints 13,358
9 Perpignan 13,063
10 Gloucester 13,041
11 Harlequins 12,680
12 Montpellier 12,648
13 La Rochelle 11,973
14 Bath 11,853
15 Stade Français 11,722


Includes domestic home league matches only in 2010/11 (not including play-off matches or European Rugby cup matches or other fixtures)
Average for each club is for matches played in their normal home stadium, and does not include figures for home matches played by certain clubs in larger stadia. Munster played seven Magners League (now RaboDirect Pro12) matches at Thomond Park, Limerick in 2010/11 and four matches at the smaller Musgrave Park, Cork. The average figure shown above covers all eleven matches at Limerick and Cork. The average for seven matches at Thomond Park was 20,180.
Source: LNR, PRL, Celtic Rugby, Deloitte analysis

Last edit: 11 years 8 months ago by .

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  • Greendragon
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11 years 8 months ago #554

The vast amounts of money in French Rugby means that they can afford the best players. When you have the best players people want to see them !!! Look at the English Premiership football clubs the big clubs sell most of their capacity in season tickets alone. Would they do that if they were watching mediocre players, I don't think so.
Munster and Leinster are different they do not pay for the real great players, but try to entertain their fans by producing home grown players, they achieve much more with much less.

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