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UEFA Champions League

Champions League: How do odds compare to squad value?

Published on September 7, 2023
Updated on September 18, 2023
Christopher
Written by Christopher

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Champions League: How do odds compare to squad value?

The UEFA Champions League Group Stage gets underway on the 19th of September, with eight groups of 32 teams competing for 16 places in the knockout stages. The latest transfer window has followed the recent trend of huge amounts of money being spent in the pursuit of glory. However, is endless spending the answer? Can teams with lower budgets compete for the top prizes through astute management and quality coaching? Do the odds quoted by the bookies reflect the money spent by clubs, and the value of their squads. Betting.com have taken a closer look at how the value of the squads relates to the odds quoted by the bookies for the Champions League, using Transfermarkt’s figures for each team’s estimated value. Obviously the value of each squad is not entirely dependent on transfer fees but on developing academy players and improving the value of players brought in through coaching.

The value of the player squads team by team

LawThe value of the playing squadAverage value per player
Manchester City€1.18bn€49.2m
Arsenal€1.11bn€42.7m
PSG€1.08bn€33.9m
Real Madrid€991.0m€43.1m
Bayern Munich€896.9m€37.4m
Manchester United€882.3m€28.5m
Barcelona€814.3m€38.8m
Newcastle€598.0m€20.6m
Naples€577.7m€22.2m
Milan€529.2m€18.9m
Inter€523.4m€20.9m
Dortmund€467.0m€16.7m
Atletico Madrid€442.0m€18.4m
Leipzig€403.1m€15.5m
Real Sociedad€397.8m€15.3m
Benfica€344.5m€14.4m
Lazio€284.6m€10.2m
Postage€283.5m€9.8m
Galatasaray€250.8m€7.8m
Seville€210.2m€7.5m
Feyenoord€204.7m€7.6m
Lens€204.2m€6.8m
Union Berlin€192.5m€6.9m
PSV Eindhoven€186.2m€7.2m
FC Salzburg€179.6m€5.8m
Braga€124.7m€4.6m
Celtic€121.3m€3.8m
Royal Antwerp€100.0m€3.5m
Shakhtar Donetsk€98.9m€2.8m
The Red Star€71.7m€2.1m
FC Copenhagen€62.7m€2.2m
Young Boys€57.3m€2.0m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

If we take a look at the list above, we can see the big teams: Manchester City, Arsenal, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the top. At the bottom, it is not entirely unexpected Young Boys, FC Copenhagen and Röda Stjärnan. The difference between the top and the bottom is huge. Let’s compare Manchester City’s squad with Young Boys. Is the difference a full 1.1 billion euros. City’s playing squad is roughly valued at 1.18 billion euros, which at today’s exchange rate corresponds to roughly 14 billion Swedish kronor. Young Boy’s squad is valued at a more modest 57.3 million euros, about SEK 682 million.

If you were to check out the betting companies’ winning odds before the start of the Champions League, it is more or less spreadsheet from top to bottom. However, there are a couple of teams that deviate a little. PSG, whose player squad is valued third highest, is sixth among most betting companies and the Turkish big club Galatasaray, which is in the middle of the list of player squad values, we find among the seven or eight teams with the highest odds. One reason for this is that Galatasaray ended up together with the big teams Bayern and Manchester United who are tipped to advance from the group.

Champions League winning odds at Bet365

The following table shows bet365‘s odds for the Champions League winner in 2023/24. Odds are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

LawOdds at bet365
Manchester City2/1
Bayern Munich11/2
Real Madrid8/1
Arsenal10/1
Barcelona14/1
PSG16/1
Manchester United20/1
Newcastle25/1
Napoli25/1
Inter25/1
Atletico Madrid25/1
AC Milan33/1
Dortmund50/1
Benfica50/1
Leipzig66/1
Seville80/1
Lazio100/1
FC Porto100/1
Real Sociedad100/1
Union Berlin150/1
Feyenoord150/1
Lens150/1
PSV Eindhoven150/1
FC Salzburg200/1
Celtic251.00
Galatasaray250/1
Braga250/1
Shakhtar Donetsk500/1
The Red Star500/1
Royal Antwerp500/1
Young Boys750/1
FC Copenhagen1000/1
Odds correct as of 11:45 on 07.09.2023.Odds subject to change.

Manchester City, who have the most valuable squad, are also favourites to win, at the time of writing. Second favorites are Bayern Munich followed by Real Madrid and Arsenal, all of whom feature in the top five in terms of squad value. At the other end of the scale, for FC Copenhagen, the situation looks very difficult. In the group stage, the Danish champions have been drawn against Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Galatasaray, three clubs that have much more valuable squads. Galatasaray, the lowest valued team in this trio, have an estimated player value of over €250 million, a sum more than four times that of Copenhagen.

Estimated squad value group by group

Which group has the highest estimated squad value? This is how it looks group by group:

Group A:

LawOdds group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Bayern Munich1.53€896.9m€37.4m
Manchester United3.00 am€882.3m€28.5m
Galatasaray11 a.m€250.8m€7.9m
FC Copenhagen34.00€62.7m€2.2m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 2,092.7 million (2)

Group B

LawOdds group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Arsenal1.50€1.11bn€42.7m
Seville5.50€210.2m€7.5m
PSV Eindhoven7.00€186.2m€7.2m
Lens9.00 am€204.2m€6.8 m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 1,691.6 million (5)

Group C

LawOdds group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Real Madrid1.53€991.0m€43.1m
Naples3.25€577.7m€22.2m
Braga13.00€124.7m€4.6m
Union Berlin13.00€192.5m€6.9m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 1,885.9 million (3)

Group D

LawOdds group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Inter1.80€523.4m€20.9m
Benfica3.50€344.5m€14.4m
Real Sociedad6.50€397.8m€15.3m
FC Salzburg9.00 am€179.6m€5.8m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 1,445.3 million (7)

Group E

LawOdds group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Atletico Madrid1.61€442.0m€18.4m
Lazio4:00 a.m€284.6m€10.2m
Feyenoord7.00€204.7m€7.6m
Celtic10.00€121.6m€3.8m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 1,052.9 million (8)

Group F

LawOdds group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
PSG2.10€1.08bn€33.9m
Newcastle3.25€598.0m€20.6m
Milan6:00 a.m€529.2m€18.9m
Dortmund6.50€467.0m€16.7m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 2,674.2 million (1)

Group G

LawOdds Group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Manchester City1.10€1.19bn€49.2m
Leipzig7.50€403.1m€15.5m
The Red Star67.00€71.3m€2.1m
Young Boys67.00€57.3m€2.0m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 1,721.7 million (4)

Group H

LawOdds Group winPlayer squad valueAverage value per player
Barcelona1.36€814.3m€38.8m
Postage3.75€283.5m€9.8m
Shakhtar Donetsk21.00€98.9m€2.8m
Royal Antwerp23.00€100.0m€3.5m
Figures quoted are in Euros. Exchange rate at time of writing: 1 EUR = 0.8597 GBP

Total: EUR 1,296.7 million (6)

Group F the highest valued group – Group E the lowest

There is quite a difference in money between the highest group with the highest valued teams and the one with the lowest valued. Group F, referred to by many pundits as the “Group of Death”, has the highest total value of over 2,670 million euros. Here, all the teams: PSG, AC Milan, Newcastle United and Dortmund have a player value of over 400 million euros. The group with the lowest estimated player value is Group E which contains Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Feyenoord and Celtic. Their total squad value amounts to €1,052.9 million, which is not even half of Group F’s total.

If you compare odds to win the group and squad value, it pretty much goes hand in hand. No team with an estimated squad value below €200 million is tipped to finish in the top two places in their group. 

Money an important factor in the Champions League

It has hardly gone unnoticed that money is a hugely important factor in football. Some observers have argued for years that the prize money available to regular qualifiers for the Champions League make it increasingly difficult for teams to improve and break into Europe’s most prestigious club competition. Last season’s Champions League winners, Manchester City, were also also the highest valued squad. In the 2021/22 season where Real Madrid became European champions, they were the third highest valued squad. To find a team that wasn’t in the top 10 most highly valued squad we have to go all the way back to 2003/04 when Jose Mourinho’s Porto beat Monaco in the final. As mentioned earlier, squad value is not all about transfer fees paid and the developement of players can boost their value. However, those clubs who can pay the fees for the top talent invariably end up with squads of a high value. And according to our findings give themselves a greater chance of Champions League success.

More often than not, the team which lifts the Champions League will come from one of the five highest valued squads in Europe. So, if this season follows the trend, the winner is likely to come from Manchester City, Arsenal, PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Check out the best betting sites for football and for the UEFA Champions League.

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Christopher

Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives.

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