The reigning Europa League Champions Spanish Football Club Atletico de Madrid was knocked out of the competition yesterday by Russian Club Rubin Kazan going down 2 -1 on aggregate. Unexpected result - in my opinion - as Atletico is a better team than Kazan, & heart felt because the fans & players feel the elimination. 

Important players like Ramadel Falcao commented that he received the elimination very hard & was disillusioned with his performance & the result. Even local hero & Coach Simeone received flack & said sorry for his 1 ยบ st leg decision of sending goalkeeper Asenjo in the last moments to find a goal chance to then see the Russian counter-attack that scored a second goal with an empty goal in the last seconds.

But is the elimination all that bad? I would say that it could be a blessing. Atletico de Madrid is a Club that needs money constantly, lots of money to maintain itself in the Spanish & European Football elite. Remember that years back the government intervened in the Club because its debt was out of control. The Club owns around 200 – 300 M€ to the taxman. With this burden & sword hanging over the Club they sell their big names ( Torres, Forlan, Jurado, De Gea & Aguero... ) to play back the Tax Department & in doing so avoid the humiliation & their intervention in the Clubs management. Its a yearly balancing act for Club Directives & extreme pressure on the rest of the Club.

Atletico de Madrid

So where is the big money? What can generate the needed constant cash flow? The money is in Champions League & not in the Europa League, in fact the costs of travelling, players insurance & possible injury to important players convert their efforts in important costs. Plus the money earned from the Europa League, 200.000€ approx for a win, is 11M€ getting to the final. Champions League gets you 20M€ just for getting to the Group stage & more as you keep advancing. Last years Champions League finalists Chelsea FC & Bayern Munich earned themselves 60M€ & 45M€ respectively. Add to this merchandising & stadium ticket sells & you can see the real dimensions of the cash flows. 

Atletico de Madrid needs to finish in La Liga in the "Champions League" positions. This year they have a “golden chance” to finish second on the Spanish League classification table which means an automatic pass into the group phase of the top European Football competition, that is , 20M€ in the pocket before starting.

The Europa League elimination means that Atletico can fully focus on maintaining their current second place position on the ladder & in the worst case secure the third place. This must be their only objective. Achieving this the Club has arguments to keep paying good salaries to their current squad, attract bigger names over to sign & perhaps convince Falcao & company to stay at the Club because they have the possibility to perform on the  Best European Football stage.

So, the elimination is not all bad, in fact it may turn out to be exactly what the Club really needed & may I add as a hunch, what the Club wished. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...