There is more at stake in Saturday's Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea than the title. In it, the social market economy goes head-to-head with Anglo-Saxon capitalism.
For the world of football, Bayern symbolizes the solid business man, the German middle class. At €320 million ($406 million) annually, the team places fourth in Europe by revenue. Then there is Chelsea, number six in terms of revenue, behind Bayern by €70 million, but with other financial supports. Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich pumps money into the team regularly at a rate of about €90 million euros a year, according to figures from consultancy Deloitte.
The team has personnel costs of €211.7 million, most of it going on players' wages. The personnel costs/revenue ratio is 0.84, according to consulting firm Deloitte. "That is exceptionally high," says Stefan Ludwig, director of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte Germany.
Bayern comes across as modest in comparison: about €156.3 million goes on personnel, for a 0.49 ratio. If money could score goals, the London team is the clear favorite.
But success is a question of drive, and the pressure is on both clubs. Bayern was twice defeated in the German championship by Borussia Dortmund and got creamed 5-2 by Dortmund last weekend in the German cup final. The European final is the last chance to redeem an otherwise disappointing season.
The heat is also on Chelsea. It did win a national competition with the FA Cup this season, but Mr. Abramovich is itching for a European triumph that has so far eluded him.
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