One of the terms that is used very often among soccer fans is “soccer club”. If you’re new to soccer, you’ll find people mentioning soccer clubs many times in blogs like mine, on TV stations that broadcast soccer and so on.
But what is a soccer club exactly? Why don’t we just call them soccer teams instead of soccer clubs?
A professional soccer club is a business or an organization that participates in soccer competitions that are based in their country of origin and in other places around the world. Most of these clubs aim to generate income for their owners. However, some of them are non-profit organizations.
That was a lot of words, but to explain it simply, a soccer club is just a business like any other business.
These clubs hire people to be able to compete in the competitions that they are in. And among the hired people are the soccer players that play for the club.
What is the difference between a soccer club and a soccer team?
There are many people that use the words soccer club and soccer team interchangeably. However, they are actually different terms when it comes to soccer.
We all probably know what a team is. A team is basically a group of people working together on the same side to achieve a goal.
That’s what a soccer team is. It is the group of players that play on the same side, wear the same jerseys, and have the same goal.
But what is a soccer club then? A soccer club is simply the organization behind the soccer team.
In other words, the team belongs to the club. The team is part of the club.
Every player on the team gets paid by the club, is trained by the club’s coaches, and is owned by the club under a contract.
However, as a soccer fan, if you support the club, then you usually automatically support their team too, and vice versa.
This is why the two terms are usually used interchangeably. In fact, I usually use the two terms interchangeably on this blog too.
On a related note, if you are struggling with picking a soccer club to watch and support, then this guide might be of great help.
How is a soccer club structured?
Like in most other companies, a soccer club has their own board of directors, their own president, vice-president, staff and so on.
Each person in the whole club contributes to the overall success or failure of the club.
For example, the board of directors set policies, oversee the club’s activities and performance. They also worry about the cash flow and many other things.
As for the president, they ensure that the club’s policies are being practiced, they work on new signings, they organize meetings, and so much more.
Plus there are other people responsible for the success of a club, like agents, lawyers, coaches and so on.
You can learn more about the detailed role of a soccer coach/manager from this article.
How do soccer clubs make money?
As we have mentioned before, a soccer club is technically a business, and businesses need to generate money.
So how does a soccer club generate money? Well, there are a number of ways the clubs can make money, and I will only stick to the most common ones:
1- Ticket sales
Obviously, tickets generate a lot of money to soccer clubs. The bigger the stadium, the more money the club can potentially make from ticket sales.
While the seats of a soccer stadium do not get filled every single game, there are certain games that sell out even days before the date of the game.
2- Jersey sales
Soccer clubs usually make deals with major clothing companies in order to be able to sell jerseys and make money.
While the deals with the clothing companies usually vary depending on many factors, one thing that is almost certain is that the big soccer clubs will make a lot of money from selling jerseys or giving other companies the rights to sell their jerseys.
Every single year, the soccer clubs change their jersey designs just to make sure that enthusiastic fans buy their new jerseys on a yearly basis.
3- Transfer fees
There are many soccer clubs that rely on transfer fees to generate money. They have a business model that works like this:
Train young soccer players and help them become top level players. Then sell these players for a high transfer fee to other interested clubs.
You can learn more about transfer fees from this article, and about free agents from this article.
4- Broadcasting money
Soccer clubs get to keep a share of the revenue generated from streaming their games to the world.
Plus there are many other streams of revenue for the soccer clubs. For example, soccer clubs make a lot of money from winning competitions or ranking well in the major competitions (i.e., they get prize money), they also make money from stadium tours, museums and many other side activities.
A soccer club is the organization behind the soccer team and the soccer players that you love and support.
While the soccer teams and their managers worry about preparing for games and winning them, the soccer clubs behind these teams worry about the finances, the contracts of the players, and the overall policies as a company / organization.