Professional football generated €617M last season, 0.3% of GDP

  • Lusa
  • 21 December 2022

Portugal's Professional football contributed €617 million or almost 0.3% to the nation's gross domestic product last season.

Professional football in Portugal contributed €617 million or almost 0.3% to the nation’s gross domestic product in the 2021/22 season – an increase of more than 10% on the previous one – according to the sixth edition of the Portuguese Professional Football Yearbook, released on Wednesday.

The report, which was prepared by the consultancy EY (formerly Ernst & Young) in partnership with Liga Portugal, the national football league, and which “portrays the economic, cultural and social impact of the football industry,” shows that the sector represents 0.29% of Portugal’s GDP in the period, with its contribution expanding by 12.02%.

“This increase is justified by the return of the public to the stadiums, which allowed an increase in ticketing revenues, and the participations of Portuguese teams in the Champions League in the 2021/22 season,” the document reads.

Combined, the 34 clubs in the top two flights recorded €917 million in turnover last season, up from €792 million in the 2020/21 season.

“The data presented shows the potential of this industry, in natural growth if we take into account a 2020/21 closed season and a 2021/22 still facing strong constraints due to the pandemic,” said the president of league organiser Liga Portugal, Pedro Proença, in statements released by the organisation in reaction to the report.

Last season, professional football was also responsible for 3,595 jobs, including players, coaches and employees assigned to support, management and administration areas.

Salaries amounted to €319 million, with players accounting for the lion’s share of that, with an aggregate total of €238 million.

“The presentation of these figures shows the importance of football in the nation’s economic fabric,” argued Proença. “An importance that justifies greater recognition for professional football as a mass phenomenon.”

Also according to the report, in 2021/22, 2.4 million people passed through the turnstiles of stadiums in the top league, the Primeira Liga and 307,000 in games of the second-ranking Liga Portugal 2.

Liga Portugal last season had its seventh consecutive year of positive results, time with profits of around €1.2 million on record turnover of €22 million, of which €8.2 million was released to distribute to the clubs.