Why do Portuguese clubs fail to compete in Europe and are the most exported players in the continent?
Tuesday – Safar 21 1443 AH – September 28, 2021 AD Issue No. [
Porto is Portugal’s most successful club in its marketing management (EPA)
Madrid: «Middle East»
Portugal is home to one of the most famous business agents in the world, Jorge Mendes, and according to a report by the International Football Association “FIFA”, in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the transfer system “TMS”, (the platform that was created to record player transfers), Portuguese clubs top the list The largest number of transfers, with a revenue of 2.5 billion euros.
Between 2011 and 2020, the Portuguese League received 15 per cent of the list of the most expensive deals in the world. It is known that Portugal is represented by three clubs in the Champions League this season, but any remarkable success has not been achieved by Portuguese clubs since Porto achieved the continental title in 2004 under the leadership of coach Jose Mourinho. Loic Ravenel, a researcher at the International Football Observatory, talks about the reason for Portugal’s strength in this field, saying: “The value of the deals that take place with Portuguese clubs is due to the country’s role as a bridge between South America and the largest European clubs.”
The International Federation’s report indicates that the path of players from Brazil to Portugal is the most reliable in the world during the last ten years for transfers, as Portugal witnessed the beginning of the journey of 1550 players before their spread in Europe.
One of the most prominent examples in this field is the Brazilian international Eder Militao, who moved to Porto in 2018 from Sao Paulo for seven million euros, before being sold only a year later to Real Madrid for 50 million euros, which shows the value of the profits. sign that can be achieved. Here comes the role of Portuguese business agents who have become impressively influential because of their in-depth knowledge of the player markets in South America, Portugal and most of the major European leagues, says Ravenel.
In the same vein, Mendes, who is considered one of the most powerful business agents in the world, is known to have made huge sums of money to conclude huge deals between Portugal and elite clubs in Europe. Between 2011 and 2020, Portuguese business agents received huge financial profits amounting to 320 million euros, placing Portugal in fourth place in the list of brokers’ profits.
“The presence of business agents is growing in Portugal,” says Emmanuel Medeiros, founder of the Global Alliance for Integrity in Sport, but he fears the increasing influence they have on players who are sometimes “amateur and unseasoned.”
While Sporting, Benfica and Porto occupy the top three positions on the list of the most profitable Portuguese clubs from transfers, it does not appear that this profitable economic model has been properly invested in enhancing their competitiveness or financial needs.
Ravenel says: “The Portuguese League is suffering from debt because clubs rely only on transfer revenues, and in the absence of these funds, the losses are immediate.”
The (Covid-19) pandemic has also reduced financial returns in this field during the past two years, and Benfica was the first victim in this field by recording unprecedented losses since the 2012-2013 season, while it touched Sporting’s financial accounts, which had not won the title since 2002 red lines.
Porto is the only club that will announce financial profits, after years of spending under the restrictions of the financial fair play laws. Medeiros points out that “in Portugal, there is no centralization of television transmission and marketing rights that contribute to enhancing revenues and finding a balance in the league.”
In turn, Ravenel believes that in order for Portugal to become more competitive, its clubs must keep some of their players, although the difference in fortunes has increased a lot in recent years, compared to clubs such as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, as the difference is very huge.