La Liga kicks off again this Friday 16 August in Spain – which is not only good news for the millions of fans, but for the billions of euros it provides for the Spanish economy, too. The professional football industry generates 185,000 jobs, €4.1bn in taxes, and a turnover equivalent to 1.37% of Spain’s GDP (gross domestic product).
The figures come from an independent study carried out by the consultant group PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the socioeconomic impact of the professional football industry in Spain. It was published earlier this year.
The ‘Financial, Fiscal and Social Impact of Professional Football in Spain’ report takes into account the latest available figures data, coming from the 2016/17 season – updated from a previous report based on the 2012/13 season.
The total turnover generated by the professional football industry in Spain in 2016/17 was over €15.69 billion, which equates to 1.37% of the country’s GDP. This means that for every euro that La Liga receives in turnover, an additional €4.20 is generated in the rest of the economy.
Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, said, ‘It confirms the enormous social and financial importance of professional football in our country and, subsequently, the importance of making responsible and well thought-out decisions about everything that affects an industry that is so relevant to our society.’
Contribution to employment
The industry’s total contribution to employment was 185,000 jobs in 2016/17, with every job directly generated by La Liga creating four more in Spain, covering an average of 0.98% of employed workers in Spain.
The 185,000 roles that have been created make up a considerable number of jobs linked to other sectors and activities in the Spanish economy. For example, compared with employment generated within the textile, manufacturing and leather industries, it is the equivalent of 1.2 times the number of people employed in 2016 or 2.4 times the number of workers employed in metallurgy and the manufacturing of iron and steel products.
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La Liga also generated additional revenue in other sectors such as catering, accommodation, bars and domestic tourism of almost €4 billion. In terms of the impact generated by football in other areas of the economy, the contribution to catering, transport and accommodation linked to sporting events held at stadiums stands out, with it reaching €2.4 billion in the 2016/17 season.
Besides the impact generated by stadium visitors, high viewing figures for La Liga matches helped Spanish bars take in around €1.23 billion, generating 19,415 jobs in the process.
Football fans also enjoy watching matches on TV through subscription packages. 58% of the 6.6 million subscribers have football included and 41% of them would not subscribe if the beautiful game was not available to them.
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A survey involving over 800 people was also carried out in order to understand LaLiga’s positive influence on Spanish society through football. 79% of participants feel that professional football in Spain positively influences social relations and almost 70% consider it to have a beneficial effect on family relations.
According to the study, professional football promotes values in Spanish society, such as responsibility, development, integrity, camaraderie, respect and sportsmanship.
Furthermore, 78% believe that professional football in Spain has a positive influence on the Spanish brand, ahead of other sports, such as tennis and basketball.
As for the football itself, here are La Liga fixtures for the Matchday 1 (of 38) to be played between 16-18 August:
Friday 16 August
Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona (21h)
Saturday 17 August
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid (17h)
Valencia v Real Sociedad (19h)
Mallorca v Eibar (20h)
Leganés v Osasuna (21h)
Villarreal v Granada (21h)
Sunday 18 August
Alaves v Levante (17h)
Espanyol v Sevilla (19h)
Real Betis v Real Valladolid (21h)
Atletico Madrid v Getafe (22h)