- Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Real Madrid to Juventus is the soccer signing of the summer.
- However, renowned auditor KPMG claims Juventus will now have to sell at least one of its big-name players to remain compliant with UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.
- Juventus also has to increase its operating revenues in the seasons ahead in order to justify the blockbuster deal.
- However, Ronaldo performs at such a high level that Juventus now has a greater chance of winning the UEFA Champions League, a tournament Ronaldo has won five times.
- Read Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-2019 soccer season here.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Juventus has been the signing of the summer, but the Serie A club may have to sell one of its best players to ensure it remains compliant with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.
Juventus paid Real Madrid $US130 million to buy Ronaldo and the deal had an immediate impact, as the club’s stock price popped almost 40%, its social media portals attracted millions of new followers, and the club sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys (approximately $US62.4 million in revenue) in 24 hours.
When Ronaldo, a 33-year-old athlete, completed his medical evaluation at the club, Juventus discovered something extraordinary – he apparently had the fitness of a 20-year-old player as he had below average body fat, above average muscle mass, and could record incredible sprint speeds.
All of the news appeared positive – not only had Juventus completed a blockbuster deal, it may have got tremendous value for money, too.
However, renowned auditor KPMG believes the $US130 million signing may come at a cost. This is because Juventus may have to sell a key asset like experienced striker Gonzalo Higuaín or young forward Paulo Dybala in order to remain on the right side of UEFA regulations.
In a 20-page document called “Ronaldo Economics,” KPMG reports that “Juventus needs to abide by specific rules” to be “compliant with UEFA Regulations.”
It said: “One of the most stringent ones is the ‘break-even’ rule, which requires them to report a maximum accumulated loss of €30 million over the course of the three latest financial years.” Ronaldo’s transfer is a “heavy burden” to that rule.
What this means is simple. After buying Ronaldo, Juventus must now sell at least one of its big-name players.
“The arrival of Ronaldo in Turin might imply the disposal of one or more players by Juventus, providing an immediate source of funding,” KPMG said.
It listed six players that could generate a large “potential selling price.”
As you can see in the table above, the player with the biggest selling price is Paulo Dybala – the club’s top-performing player in the 2017-2018 season, according to soccer statistic website Whoscored.com.
KPMG believes Dybala has a transfer value of €105 million to €120 million and, at that price, the player would likely have no shortage of admirers as he has been linked with Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich and Premier League club Liverpool FC.
However, at 24, Dybala is a player Juventus can build around for years to come, so the club could be loathe to lose him to a European rival – especially at a time when it is planning to win the UEFA Champions League title.
Instead, Juventus may prefer ratifying sales for players over 30 years old – their transfer value will only decrease, so it may be preferable to cash in now while Juventus can still generate a decent fee and satisfy UEFA regulations.
Mario Mandžukić scored just five goals in 27 starts for Juventus last season, but the 32-year-old excelled at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Croatia and his performance level has put him back into the spotlight.
Mandžukić is not essential to future Juventus success and, with KPMG valuing him at €20 million to €25 million, he could be free to join Manchester United.
Experienced striker Gonzalo Higuaín could also be on the chopping block. Higuaín was the second-highest goalscorer at Juventus last season, netting 16 times in 32 starts in all competitions. But at 30 years old, and with Dybala and now Ronaldo ahead of him in the starting line-up, he may be surplus to requirements.
KPMG foresees a €60 million to €70 million transfer fee for Higuaín, should Juventus decide to sell. And the player has already generated interest from Premier League club Chelsea.
Is that all Juventus has to do?
No. Not at all. Selling one of its top players is the easy part. The hard part is what happens over the next two to three seasons, because Juventus must “increase its operating revenues” to justify the extravagant Ronaldo purchase.
KPMG estimates that season ticket prices for the forthcoming seasons could increase by 30%, which would generate €33 million to €34 million. Juventus could also generate increased revenue from broadcasting (there will be more eyes on the club now it has the planet’s most recognisable soccer player), and sponsorship (blue-chip clients would also, in theory, be lining up to talk to Juventus now it has Ronaldo).
Now here comes the fun part.
Yes. As KPMG notes, “securing Ronaldo’s performance increases the chances of winning on the pitch” – and that could mean the difference between Champions League success and Champions League failure.
As Ronaldo has won the competition five times, a sixth may not be out of the equation, and that would mean even more cash, even more broadcasting revenue, and even more sponsorship for Juventus in the very near future.
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