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Villarreal's budget going into the CL: let's talk TV moneys

Rumors have already started, but the new TV deal should give us some leverage when it comes to holding on to and obtaining new players.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Well, the rumors have already started, and of course it is tempting to remember that last time we qualified for Champions League we made a bunch of summer moves and yet ended up with a very thin squad (as Sirera's fanpost so rightly noted-- remember when we had to start Joselu Moreno as a lone striker in the CL?)

There are some similarities with the summer of 2011--the main ones being that we finished fourth, but well behind the leaders (we had 62 points in 2010-11, Valencia had 71, Madrid/Barca 90+), and we made it to the semifinals of the Europa League so have some knowledge of what competing in Europe requires, where we match up and where we don't.

What is different is the state of the Villarreal budget, both this season and looking ahead.  We didn't know it at the time, but the 2011-12 season was as difficult in the financial arena as on the pitch.  For the first time ever under Sr. Roig's stewardship, players were asked to defer salary from one month to the next--common enough in Spanish football, but unthinkable at Villarreal.  Anyway, the failure to progress in the CL (or get any payments at all other than the initial group stage payment, as we lost every match we played) played a role--we ended up blowing a huge hole in our budget (as I recall, we spent over €100m while bringing in €80m, but I could be wrong about the details).

This was especially awful given that we made the decision to sell one of our stars during the summer--Santi Cazorla--to fund what was supposed to be purchases to improve the squad's depth.  That didn't go so well, but that's another story.

Since returning to the Primera, our budgets were €51m in 2013-14 (we made €6m, it turned out), in 2014-15 we budgeted €62m (including about €30m in TV money), and for 2015-16 our budget was €80m, including €44m in TV money.

We had a good run in the Europa League; we got €8m in performance money on the pitch, and should get another €5-7m in TV revenues from that competition, so I am sure we will post a nice profit for this year.

What about 2016-17?  Well, the new TV deal negotiated by La Liga will help us out to some degree.  Briefly, about €800m in TV money will be distributed among Primera División clubs starting in 2016-17.  (This number doesn't include 10% of the pot, which goes to the Segunda).

50% of that pot is divided equally, so that in itself is €40m for Villarreal.  Then, 25% is distributed on the basis of league finish in the last five seasons--that will hurt us in 2016-17, because it includes our relegation season and Segunda year.  I don't know the exact methodology used to calculate this, but if we were right in the middle, we'd get €20m from this pot.  I figure something less than that given our Segunda adventure, so let's say €15m.

The final 25% is basically a catch-all (distributed on the basis of 'resources generation' that includes number of club members, attendance, etc.).  This is in there in order to ensure Barcelona and Real Madrid would get as much money as they were already getting, as they would not have agreed to the deal without that.

To be honest, I have no idea what our share of this will be, but since we are clearly one of the smaller clubs in terms of many of these parameters, I'm going to assume we get €10m of this.

Our total, then, will be €65m, which is not as much as some estimates but is in line with some comments made to me recently and also some comments from Sr. Roig Negueroles made in December 2015.

Assuming all else is the same, that would suggest our budget for CL football would be around €100m.  Which is not quite the same as saying we have another €20m to spend on transfer fees (these get spread over the length of a player's contract, and player salaries are also a factor) but at least we can say we are not pressured to sell a 'star player' in order to balance the budget.