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finances, revenues, transfers and salaries  Athletic Bilbao

Here you will find extensive information on Athletic Bilbao's finances, transfers and player salaries. We offer you detailed insights into the club's financial situation, including revenue from merchandising, sponsorship and ticket sales, as well as spending on player transfers, salaries and infrastructure. Our website is updated regularly to ensure you are always aware of the latest developments.


Athletic Club, or Athletic Bilbao, is a renowned football club from the Basque Country of Spain. Since the formation of the Primera División in 1928, the club has consistently been top-flight, having won eight championships. In the "all-time table" of the Spanish league, the club is fourth and, along with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, is the only team that has never been relegated.

The club also have an impressive track record in the Spanish cup competition, the Copa del Rey, winning it 24 times before FC Barcelona surpassed that record in 2009.

Athletic Bilbao is also known for its unique player policy, which only uses players born in either the Basque provinces of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Álava and Navarre (all Spain), Labourd, Soule and Lower Navarre (all France) or in were trained by the youth of a football club from these provinces. This policy has meant that the first team has traditionally been made up of players from Lezama's in-house academy, with a focus on their own youth rather than relying on external transfers.

Athletic Bilbao players are also known as 'Los Leones' (the lions), and this nickname derives from the namesake of the San Mamés stadium, Saint Mamas. The San Mamés is also called the "Cathedral of Football" and is in the immediate vicinity of a church.

  • Name: Athletic Club de Bilbao

  • Headquarters: Bilbao, Spain

  • Foundation: 1898

  • Colours: red and white

  • Website:

  • Venue: San Mames

  • Seats: 53,289

  • League: Primera Division

financial situation

The people of Bilbao are proud to have defied globalization. With a few exceptions - such as Mexico's Chivas Guadalajara - Athletic Bilbao footballers are one of the last bastions of local roots in a world of transcontinental financial flows, recruiting only players from their own region. In reference to Asterix: "The whole football world? No! A club inhabited by indomitable Basques does not stop resisting the transfer madness."

Of course, there are some trade-offs to be made with this romantic notion and it should be noted that Athletic have also had a mysterious miraculous past in the form of Sabino Padilla, a cycling doping specialist - but let's put that aside for now. If we look through a magnifying glass at the current crisis in the football industry, as we did in the famous opening scene of the comic book story, we see a club that has the best chance of coming through the crisis in good shape. Its name: Athletic Club de Bilbao - along with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, the only club to have been consistently top-flight since the founding of the Spanish league in 1929.

Athletic's unique recruitment policy of only signing players from the Basque region has created a strong connection between the club and its local community. This has also helped keep costs down as the club doesn't have to pay exorbitant transfer fees for players from other regions or countries. Furthermore, the club's philosophy of developing young players in its own academy has contributed to a sustainable and self-sustaining model.

Additionally, Athletic have always had a strong emphasis on financial sanity, unlike many of their rivals who have fallen victim to the consequences of reckless spending and unsustainable debt. This has allowed the club to maintain a healthy financial position even in difficult times like the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In summary, Athletic's commitment to its unique recruitment policies and financial sanity makes it one of the most sustainable and resilient clubs in the world of football. Although the club's on-pitch success may falter, its strong connection to the local community and commitment to long-term stability ensure it will always remain a beloved institution in the world of football.


Of course, Athletic Bilbao is also struggling with the effects of the pandemic. There are currently discussions about salary cuts. Should play in Spain's league, which was suspended in mid-March, not resume, which is much more likely than elsewhere in Europe due to the dramatic deaths in the country, the professionals should forego 20 percent of their salary. This was reported by the local newspaper El Correo on Thursday.

Canceling the season would also be bitter for Athletic Bilbao, as the club has reached the Spanish Cup final. The club's worst scenario assumes a loss of income of at least 30 million euros, as there would be no revenue from ticket sales, merchandising, conferences, VIP boxes, museum visits and of course television money. Still, Bilbao's problems are comparatively minor, especially when you put them in relation to the dramatic situation at champions FC Barcelona.

The reason is that Athletic Bilbao's war chest was well stocked before the crisis hit. Even the payment modalities now play into the hands of the club. While most clubs in Spain transfer salaries to their players on a monthly basis, Athletic Bilbao pays salaries every six months. That gives the club time now. Instead of suffering from acute liquidity problems, the club has leeway to organize itself.

The reason for the well-filled box office dates back to 2012 and to a player from the current Bayern Munich squad. At that time, the German record champions brought the defensive player Javier Martínez from Bilbao. The transfer hit the Basques emotionally hard. Martínez was the first player to force his departure by depositing the €40m transfer fee stipulated in the contract. In retrospect, however, this transfer secured the first layer of a financial cushion that Bilbao still draws on to this day. Instead of pumping the money back into the market, the then club boss Josu Urrutia, who had once played under former Athletic coach Jupp Heynckes, put the Transfer from the Free State of Bavaria to the high edge.


A similar procedure was later followed when even higher income was achieved from the sale of players such as Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City/65 million euros) or goalkeeper Kepa (FC Chelsea/80 million euros).

However, in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, the club recorded a loss twice (-25.42 million euros and -10.62 million euros) on revenues of 108.58 million euros and 96.55 million euros

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