Counting those beans

In England you often have to wait up to a year after the season finishes to find out how much each team has spent. Not so in Finland. Here we have the annual accounts for all the teams in advance of the season, a helpful development given the temptation to overstretch-an extra 100,000 euros goes a lot further here than it does in many countries.

So, those who may have been mystified by Paatelainen’s return to Finland can worry no more. TPS are the moneybags of Veikkausliiga, with EUR2.5m for this season. Seppo Sairanen is their benefactor and he evidently has deep pockets. Next are HJK, some way behind on EUR1.75m. Then you have Tampere United, MyPa and Honka. The lowest spenders are unsurprisingly FC Viikingit, who seem to play in a forest somewhere on the eastern edge of Helsinki. They will have to make do with just EUR 530,000.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is the discrepancy between total budgets and playing budgets. TPS have a whopping EUR1.5m on top of their playing budget. Where’s it all going? I hope their non-football investments are wise, the last thing the game here needs is another bankruptcy.

No club has a wage bill of more than EUR1m, giving the impression of massive contingency funds-TPS apparently allocate 60% of their season’s money for unplanned expenses, whereas Viikingit have just 20%. Unsurprisingly it’s the poorer clubs that are least prepared for hard times.

The Veikkausliiga website also includes a table of what are apparently break even attendances for all the clubs. Tampere United can realistically hope to get 4,100 and have a good chance of milking the corporate market, but that option is not so well exploited by other clubs. Here are the figures:

Total budget for 2007

2,500,000 TPS
1,750,000 HJK
1,547,000 Tampere United
1,400,000 MyPa
1,400,000 FC Honka
1,170,000 FC Haka
937,000 VPS
931,000 FC Inter
850,000 FC Lahti
840,000 AC Oulu
784,000 IFK Mariehamn
742,000 FC KooTeePee
741,972 FF Jaro
530,000 FC Viikingit

Playing budget for 2007

1,000,000 TPS
1,000,000 HJK
900,000 FC Honka
886,900 Tampere United
860,000 MyPa
746,500 FC Haka
550,000 FC Lahti
550,000 AC Oulu
514.300 VPS
497,100 FF Jaro
490,000 FC Inter
452,000 IFK Mariehamn
420,000 FC Viikingit
400,000 FC KooTeePee

Average attendance target

6000 HJK
4500 FC Honka
4100 Tampere United
4000 TPS
3350 AC Oulu
3300 FC Inter
3000 FC KooTeePee
2900 VPS
2600 FF Jaro
2500 FC Lahti
2375 FC Haka
2300 FC Viikingit
2100 MyPa
2000 IFK Mariehamn

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