When FC Bayern and Paris St. Germain face each other in the Champions League round of 16, two philosophies collide. At least if you compare some financial categories.

Those in charge of FC Bayern have often complained that the German record champion is no longer competing with other clubs in the world, but with entire countries. A comparison with Champions League round of 16 opponents Paris St. Germain, which is 100 per cent owned by the Qatari Sports Fund, shows exactly what this means financially.

In a report published this Tuesday, the data analysis platform “Football Benchmark” compares the champions of the eight top European leagues in various financial categories from the 2021/22 season, including Bayern and PSG. The most remarkable result: the French champions’ personnel costs were more than twice as high as those of the FCB in the underlying period.

Paris’ personnel costs explode, and Bayern’s fall

At €728 million, PSG recorded the highest sum ever reported by a football club, according to the report. Compared to the 2020/21 season, personnel costs increased by a whopping 45 per cent. The main reason for this is probably the signing of Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma, as well as the costly contract extension with Kylian Mbappé.

Bayern, on the other hand, reduced their personnel costs by seven per cent to 324 million euros compared to the previous season and are thus in a completely different sphere than PSG. By comparison, Real Madrid (519 million euros, +29 per cent) and Manchester City (418 million euros, +4 per cent) are also ahead of Bayern among the reigning champions of Europe’s top leagues. AC Milan (170 million euros, +/-0 per cent) or Ajax Amsterdam (109 million euros, +15 per cent) follow quite far behind.

Bayern indeed reduced their personnel costs presumably also because they had to pay out delayed bonus payments for the 2020 Champions League title in the previous year, which was only played in August (1:0 against PSG). However, the fact that no reigning champion can boast a better staff turnover ratio alone shows that they have a comparatively “healthy” salary structure.

PSG and the alarming 109 per cent ratio

While FC Bayern’s ratio fell by seven percentage points to 52 per cent, Real’s ratio is 73 per cent – topped only by Trabzonspor (81 per cent) and PSG, which now has a whopping 109 per cent instead of 89 per cent. In terms of turnover alone, PSG is only just ahead of FC Bayern (627 million euros, +5 per cent) with 670 million euros (+18 per cent), whereby FCB made a net profit of nine million euros, while the Parisians lost 369 million euros. With economically questionable key figures of this kind, it is helpful to have an investor in the background who is not necessarily dependent on profits.

So on 14 February and 8 March, two philosophies clash in some respects – but they allow few conclusions to be drawn about what will happen on the pitch. According to “Football Benchmark”, squads worth €1.008 billion (PSG) and €994 million (FCB) face each other. How much these players earn and where the money comes from is another matter.