Southampton Tops List of Most Profitable Youth Academies in Europe

Southampton Football Club - Logo / Badge / Crest - Year 2015A study conducted by the Swiss-based International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) on youth football academies across England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain revealed that Southampton emerged tops generating as much as 90.2 million Euros since July 2012.

A large part of this revenue figure came from the sale of players like Luke Shaw, a left-back, who was sold to Manchester United for €35 million. Others included were Adam Lallana, a midfielder, sold to Liverpool for €30m and Calum Chambers, a right back, to Arsenal for €20 million. Southampton's revenues alone accounted for 40 per cent of the Premier League total.

Next in the ranks of profitable academies is France's Lille which raked in €76 million. Most notable among their sales was Eden Hazard for €37m to Chelsea. Arsenal paid €16m to the Lille academy for defender Mathieu Debuchy.

Spanish club Real Sociedad's academy clocked the third highest revenues to the tune of €62.2m. Livewire French-born forward Antoine Griezmann came to Atletico Madrid from the academy at a cost of €30m. Asier Illarramendi was the other notable name to be sold to Real Madrid for a cost of €32.2m. Illarramendi plays as a defensive midfielder for Real.

Spanish Club Sevilla's academy is placed 4th with sale of players like Luis Alberto, Jose Campana, Antonio Luna, Alberto Moreno and Jesus Navas. Sevilla recorded revenues of €51.5m.

Among German academies that of Borussia Dortmund features in the CIES list with a rank of 5th grossing €43.5m.Notable sales were Daniel Ginczek, Mario Gotze, Julian Koch, Lasse Sobiech and Koray Gunter.

Real Madrid's revenues of €43m make its academy the 6th richest with sales of players like Alvaro Morata, Jose Maria Callejon, Daniel Carvajal and Esteban Granero.

Next to follow are Real's Spanish rivals, Barcelona, in the 7th and sales of players like Thiago Alcantara, Jonathan dos Santos, Andreu Fontas, Bojan Krkic and Antonio Sanabria have grossed them €38.8m.

The Catalan club is followed on the ranks by a succession of academies of French clubs in the 8th, 9th and 10th positions namely Stade Rennais (€33.6m), Montpellier Herault SC (€33.5m) and AS St-Etienne (€32.8m). A notable sale of the St-Etienne academy was Kurt Zuma, the young Chelsea defender.

Swansea FC of Wales's academy stood at 11th. Sales of players like Ben Davies and Joe Allen helped them rake in €31.6m

Bayern Munich's academy was rather low-key at 12th with a gross of €31.1m. Their most notable sale was Toni Kroos. Raif Husic,Emre Can and Diego Contento were the other sales.

After Southampton, Manchester United is the other English name to follow. With a rank of 13th and a gross revenue of €28.7m that came in the form of sales of Michael Keane, Danny Welbeck, Robert Brady, Matt James and Joshua King.

The highest grosser from Italy was FC Genoa ranked 15th in the list with revenues of €24.5m. Players sold included Richmond Boakye, Isaac Cofie, Stephan El Shaarawy, Dejan Lazarevic and Stefano Sturaro.

Paris St-Germain FC was at 14th with revenues clocking €25.2m and coming from sales of players like Clement Chantome, Antoine Conte, Mamadou Sakho and Ilan Boccara.

On a combined basis academies of Ligue 1 clubs of France grossed the most with €292 million. The Spanish followed with La Liga club academies grossing €276 million. Inspite of Southampton topping the rich list, the aggregate for English Premier League academies stood at €227 million making England the 3rd nation-wise.